Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Grand Jury and the "No Bill" or "No True Bill"

Some time ago I did a post about a specific case I'm handling. This is a case where I was very upset by the behavior of the prosecutors.

I have very good news on this case. It was submitted to Grand Jury in the last couple of weeks. The Grand Jury returned what's known as a "No Bill" or "No True Bill". For those more interested in what that means in detail, I found a good article about Grand Jury and the No Bill.

That means the Grand Jury found no reasonable cause to believe my client committed the crime charged. As most people know, the standard for a "trial jury" is "beyond a reasonable doubt". The prosecution must prove that the defendant did commit the crime charged and must do so to such an extent that the jury has no reasonable doubt. Also, the prosecutor needs a unanimous verdict. The standard for a Grand Jury is much lower -- reasonable cause to believe is an extremely low standard, even lower than the "more likely than not" standard in a civil case. And the prosecutor doesn't need a unanimous Grand Jury -- only 12 out of 23 have to find reasonable cause.

Essentially then, a "No Bill" is a declaration of the defendant's innocence. If you haven't checked the post from before, this client spent 29 days in jail unjustly. His 5-year-old and 11-year-old daughter didn't see their father for 29 days. It's an outrage, and there will be more to come of this case.
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