Expanding your knowledge in the African American Experience


The Old Outdated Grand Jury System Provides No Justice for African Americans

Grand Jury System

Grand Jury System

By Millard Hampton Jr.

One of the first known documents of a Grand Jury took place in a mono-cultured and mono-religious community in 1166 when Henry II was King of England. Since then most every modern religious and multi-cultural country throughout the World including England have retired this system due it’s bias and consistent flaws.

Grand Juries in the United States have been in use since its beginnings and were used to justify the American Slavery System which partially ended but has continued to this day. When African Americans were freed from slavery in 1865, slavery was allowed to continue for those who were convicted for a felony offense crime.

Around the United States, Grand Jurors are cherry picked and appointed, but not elected into these positions. To become a Grand Juror you must be well known or a friend to government officials who select you. You are told how to judge according to very narrow standards set by county and/or city government officials through the rules each respectively set. You are not allowed to use your own interpretations, compassion or judgement. Many members of Grand Juries have often said they knew a city official was guilty of a crime but the parameters given to them to indict was so narrow they had no choice but to side with Police or a city official. Law enforcement agencies and their Unions have relied on the Grand Jury System routinely as a shield to protect officers from criminal prosecution especially in cases when questionable deadly force has occurred.

The United States has historically had a real compassion problem when it comes to people who don’t look the same and/or share the same religion. This dilemma has created the perfect storm for the use of an ancient Grand Juror System. In most cases the Grand Jury System sides with the dominant mono-culture in which they view as fair justice. All other cultures living under a Grand Jury System remain left out with no justice. People whom God has given the gift of compassion from all races, religions and cultures see this system of injustice for what it is, biased and unfair.

In the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases the Grand Jury was presented the case from the prospective of law enforcement, District Attorney and lawyers for the officers. No genuine argument or defense was presented for the victim except for a weak argument from the prosecutor, which in most cases presents or again a cherry picked person from law enforcement to provide an argument for the victim instead. Keep in mind the prosecutor has to return to work along side law enforcement after the Grand Jury hearing has concluded.

In the case of Eric Garner the Grand Jury has provided solid arguments and evidence as to why this system should be abolished. Like a angry 4 year old child, the New York Grand Jury System indicted Ramsey Orta, the young man who filmed New York Police choking Eric Garner on other charges as an act of revenge. In an act of extreme bias the New York Grand Jury chose not to indict Officer Pantaleo even though he violated his department’s own duty manual(rules and conduct documentation for police). The Eric Brown case along with thousands of other unjustified murders over the years, including the United States Slavery System provide a mountain of evidence higher than Mt. Everest to rid the United States from this biased system.

The Grand Jury System will continue to serve law enforcement and not the community it serves. The Grand Jury System should be replaced with modern systems used by other countries. Citizen Review boards, Councils or other elected positions by the people have been proven to be fairer and more impartial when judging actions of police and government officials. By and large most Police Departments prefer the Grand Jury System which provides lots of leeway in unjustifiable homicides. City Governments also prefer the Grand Jury System which saves cities millions of dollars in wrongful death suits by police.

If the United States were to disband the ancient Grand Jury System it would not only help to keep police honest but also government officials too. The added benefit of keeping government officials honest in the United States will in turn be the biggest road block for citizens who want an elected impartial review board.

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