Criminal Justice

ACLU Recommendations for Reforms to Ohio Grand Jury System

08.04.16

In February of 2016 the Ohio Supreme Court created a Task Force to Examine Improvements to the Ohio Grand Jury System to address issues around grand jury proceedings for felony defendants and law enforcement officers who have been accused of misconduct, wrongful death of citizens or illegal activities.

The ACLU has submitted recommendations to the Task Force to increase fairness and transparency in grand jury proceedings.

Recommendations include allowing the defendant’s attorney to present exculpatory evidence, evidence which is favorable to the defendant, before the grand jury. Such evidence would present a less biased view of the case and support the defendant’s claim to innocence. Another recommendation is to establish procedural standards such as allowing a judge to preside over the hearing. A fairly elected judge would provide objectivity to the case and allow the grand jury to make decisions independent of the prosecutor’s recommendations.

Read the ACLU’s full recommendations to the Ohio Supreme Court Grand Jury Task Force.

Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Ohio Grand Juries.