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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ind. Courts - Some general principles regarding Indiana grand juries

Re grand jury transcripts, as referenced today in this post, I asked Joel Schumm, professor at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law for a little information about grand juries.

Prof. Schumm responded that the Indiana Supreme Court has summarized general principles regarding grand juries (in Hinojosa v. State, 2003) as follows:

At the outset, we note that the general rule regarding grand jury transcripts is that they be kept secret. Ind. Code § 35-34-2-4(i) (1998). See footnote Indiana does not even recognize an absolute right of the accused to the pre-trial examination of grand jury minutes. Blackburn v. State, 260 Ind. 5, 291 N.E.2d 686 (1973), cert. denied, Blackburn v. Indiana, 412 U.S. 925, 93 S. Ct. 2755 (1973); Mahoney v. State, 245 Ind. 581, 201 N.E.2d 271 (1964), overruled on other grounds by Antrobus v. State, 253 N.E.2d 873 (Ind. 1970). In fact, it is a criminal offense to “knowingly and intentionally” disclose information acquired in a grand jury proceeding unless compelled by law. Ind. Code § 35-34-2-10(a) (1998).

However, the Legislature has created an exception to the general rule of secrecy by granting trial judges the discretion to release evidence in certain circumstances where a “particularized need” can be shown. See Ind. Code § 35-34-2-10(b) (1998).

He continued: I don't know about other counties, but the Local Rules in Marion County require the prosecutor to disclose:
(3) A transcript of those portions of grand jury minutes containing testimony of persons whom the prosecuting attorney intends to call as witnesses at the hearing or trial.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 21, 2013 04:19 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts