What are some indictment requirements a federal grand jury must follow?


Quick Answer

When going through indictment proceedings, some rules that govern the federal grand jury pertain to who is permitted and required in the court room, the summoning and retaining of jurors, disclosure of information, and the number of votes necessary to indict someone, explains Cornell University Law School. A federal grand jury must also afford the defendant certain rights, such as the right to visit with his attorney after every question and the right to not self-incriminate, states attorney Solomon Wisenberg.

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Full Answer

There must be between 16 and 23 jurors present at all times for indictment proceedings to occur, Cornell University Law School describes. The court must summon enough potential jurors to meet this number. The defendant and the government have a right to dismiss a juror on the basis of incompetence or a lack of proper credentials. One juror serves as a foreperson during proceedings, and another juror serves as deputy foreperson in case of the foreperson's absence.

While the grand jury is in session, government attorneys, interpreters, the witness being questioned, a court reporter and the jury members may be present, states Cornell University Law School. During deliberation and voting, however, only the jurors and any interpreter for the jurors may be present.

While jurors cannot be required to sign an oath of secrecy, many members of the court must not reveal any details of the proceedings, Cornell University Law School explains. A judge does not need to be on the premises during federal grand jury proceedings, and can instead participate via teleconferencing.

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