California Law Bans Grand Juries in Police Brutality Cases

Cases of police brutality and misconduct have taken center stage in the media as of the past few years. In many of these high profile cases the fate of the police officers involved is decided by a grand jury wherein no defense lawyers or judges are present. Not surprisingly, almost all of the offending officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing by these grand juries.

However, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Tuesday that prohibits secretive grand juries from determining cases where law enforcement uses “excessive” or “deadly force.”

State Senator Holly Mitchel authored the bill, after the failed indictments of the officers involved in the shootings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in 2014. Mitchel criticized the grand jury process: “The proceedings are shrouded in secrecy,” and “there are no cross-examinations of witnesses, and there are no objections. How prosecutors explain the law to the jurors and what prosecutors say about the evidence are subject to no oversight.”

Moreover, Gov. Brown also recently signed a related bill which affirmed the public’s right to take audio and video records of the police without the threat of being charged with a crime. According to Senator Mitchell, this bill, in conjunction with the ban on grand juries, “could help restore some faith in the criminal justice system.”

Recommended Articles

sealed letter
Sealing Criminal Records in Arizona Under The New Law

Arizona’s new sealing statute is a powerful way for people who have been charged or convicted of many common offenses, to be able to say “no” in many instances.

angry men arguing
Aggravated Assault in Arizona: Five Things You Should Know

In Arizona, “Aggravated Assault” charged under ARS § 13-1204 is a Class Four Felony, and in some cases with mandatory prison.

Police Misconduct & How it May Affect Your Criminal Case in Arizona 

DUI or domestic violence police misconduct even if not resulting in grievous misfortune can sometimes provide a helpful remedy for the criminally accused.

Collateral Consequences of Misdemeanors For Professionals & Parents in Arizona: Fingerprint Clearance Cards

people are surprised by how outsized the consequences some misdemeanor convictions can be. collateral consequences—meaning all those hidden consequences.

Federal Court Strikes Law Prohibiting Guns For Some Accused of Domestic Violence

For thirty years two federal laws prohibited all those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from ever possessing firearms.

Michael Harwin

About Michael Harwin

Michael’s skill and experience have been recognized repeatedly. He holds an A-V 5/5 preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell. He has been named one of the top lawyers in Arizona by Southwest Superlawyers, and one of the best lawyers in Tucson by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine. He also has been named one of the best lawyers in the United States by , and given the highest rating possible by AVVO, 10/10 Superb. Amazon Books