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Discussion Starter #1
In reading a new story on a site behind a paywall about the charges the Attorney General's office announced today that deal with the Flint water crisis, one line really stuck out to me:

All charges stemmed from evidence presented to Judge David Newblatt, who served as a secret one-person grand jury.

I am no legal expert, but I was under the impression that a grand jury had multiple jurors (minimum 3) to be able to reach a 2/3 majority vote on whether or not to indict. A majority of 1 seems a bit strange. The other part of it was that I though grand jury jurors were regular citizens, not judges themselves.

For all you folks better versed in legal proceedings, is this run of the mill grand jury activity in Michigan or does this seem a bit strange to you too?
 

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In reading a new story on a site behind a paywall about the charges the Attorney General's office announced today that deal with the Flint water crisis, one line really stuck out to me:

All charges stemmed from evidence presented to Judge David Newblatt, who served as a secret one-person grand jury.

I am no legal expert, but I was under the impression that a grand jury had multiple jurors (minimum 3) to be able to reach a 2/3 majority vote on whether or not to indict. A majority of 1 seems a bit strange. The other part of it was that I though grand jury jurors were regular citizens, not judges themselves.

For all you folks better versed in legal proceedings, is this run of the mill grand jury activity in Michigan or does this seem a bit strange to you too?
Grand juries are not binding. They can choose not to indict, and the prosecutor can still bring charges anyway.

Most cases in Michigan merely have preliminary hearings, grand juries are unusual.

Any grand jury in MI requires I believe 7 or more jurors to be able to indict.
 

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I googled your quote and it looks like it's from an AP article. I'm gonna guess that the author is from a state that uses grand juries rather than preliminary hearings and it's probably an inflammatory statement. Reading further it looks as though each of the 6 indicted were advised in person upon the judge hearing the evidence. That would be a prelim. Which works in place of a grand jury in this state. A prosecutor can still request a grand jury to hear evidence before bringing charges. But generally that would be rarely used in michigan.
 

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Local TV news in SE Michigan is also parroting the single judge grand jury line.

It doesn’t really mean anything other than to sound menacing to lead public opinion on the proceedings. But it did give the people working on this under direction of the AG the convenient shield to hide behind for not answering questions from the press this afternoon due to grand jury proceedings being kept secret ... until somebody feels like leaking information.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks like most of the armchair lawyers don’t want to wade into this one, and probably rightfully so. But where are our actual legal professionals? Did OH Yeah already wrap his new toy around a tree?
 

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All charges stemmed from evidence presented to Judge David Newblatt, who served as a secret one-person grand jury.

I am no legal expert, but I was under the impression that a grand jury had multiple jurors (minimum 3) to be able to reach a 2/3 majority vote on whether or not to indict.
" There shall be no more than 17 persons nor less than 13 persons sworn on any grand jury"

A majority of 1 seems a bit strange. The other part of it was that I though grand jury jurors were regular citizens, not judges themselves.
They generally are... but this is a grand jury that cannot indict, so the general rules don't necessarily apply.

...plus whether or not a grand jury indicts is not binding on the prosecutor.

For all you folks better versed in legal proceedings, is this run of the mill grand jury activity in Michigan or does this seem a bit strange to you too?
There is no run of the mill grand jury activity in Michigan - Michigan generally doesn't use grand juries, just preliminary hearings.
 

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Looks like most of the armchair lawyers don’t want to wade into this one, and probably rightfully so. But where are our actual legal professionals? Did OH Yeah already wrap his new toy around a tree?
My free legal insight is limited to car accidents, dog bites, auto insurance laws and causing trouble when I’m procrastinating or bored on an off work day.

I do have grand jury experience - but only as a subpoenaed witness 25 years ago.

I did contribute to AG Nessel’s campaign fund this week, though, before the charges were announced. I supported Pat Miles in the 2018 primary but was impressed by the AG’s handling of other things. A mentor asked me to give to an event he’s hosting, so I did in gratitude for his help before.

So, to answer your question, I’m not a criminal lawyer and don’t want to know nothing about criminal law. :)

As to the thing that could get me needing a criminal lawyer - the sports car. I test drove a 350 HP sports coup Monday and do not have the self restraint for so much speed. Ain’t happening. It was just a dumb distraction on an off work day.

O to 60 MPH in 4 seconds = 100 mph before you realize you are in reckless driving mode. It wasn’t for me. :-0
 
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