A grand jury process requires that the jurors decide if there exists enough evidence against an accused person to advance to trial. The process does not require an accused to testify, but only court clerks and prosecutors are in attendance to present evidence upon which the jurors take a vote of indictment (Lewis, 2015). This in my view is a low standard on which a decision is made, thus necessitating numerous reforms to guarantee fair verdicts.
First, there have been numerous cases of police officers not being indicted even after it is evidently clear that they committed a felony. For instance, the failure of the grand jury to indict Officer Darren for the role he played in Brown’s death exposed the local prosecutors as being unfair (Lewis, 2015). For the reasons that prosecutors rely on the police officers to make arrests, question, investigate, as well as testify during trials, it has become difficult for the same prosecutors to effectively handle alleged police misconduct. Thus, i would make use of special prosecutors or those outside the jurisdiction in question to improve on the system.
The grand jury should accord parties the right to counsel and the rules of evidence applied in criminal trials should also apply. Further, it is my believe that subjecting the grand jury to judicial review besides training law enforcement officers on fairness and objectivity would eliminate biases in the system. As well, grand juries need to exhibit diversity in their constitution so as to portray America’s justice system as being fair and democratic. Lastly, legislation needs to be done to address the current data gap regarding fatalities involving police officers. This would ensure that evidence presented is complete and reliable to reach a sound decision.
Lewis, O. C. (2015). The Grand Jury: A Critical Evaluation. Akron Law Review, 13(1), 3.