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gavel.jpgOne thing I have noticed when reading true crime forums is how many people do not know what exactly what a grand jury is and what an indictment means.

Most believe a Grand Jury works like a regular jury and when they indict someone, that is the same as a guilty verdict.

That is completely wrong. Grand Juries are not always used. When a Grand Jury decides to indict a defendant it is a RECOMMENDATION and not a verdict.

A prosecutor can decide to try the case if the Jury does not indict or the prosecutor could decide not to take the case to trial even if the Grand Jury decides to indict.

A Grand Jury indictment does not guarantee that the case will be immune from being dismissed if the Judge decides to do so or if the defense or prosecution atty file a motion to dismiss the case.

The short answer would be that the Grand Jury offers an opinion if the case should go forward or not.

Stay tuned