JUST IN: Attorneys for the four defendants in the alleged scheme by ComEd to bribe Speaker Mike Madigan say in a motion there's a "serious concern" that COVID-19 precautions led to grand jurors being added that are not "representative of the community."
Among other things, they want to know the race, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, year of birth, zip code, income and occupation of all grand jurors empaneled during the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/kaBKD4MxWF
Maybe they could also what Barr had for lynch while he wasn’t tinkering with their case, interning with CPF or looking for a job
- Cable Line Beer Gardener - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 12:35 pm:
I go by my experience of sitting on 1 federal grand jury and 2 county grand juries. Federal Grand Jurys are appointed for a term of 18 months with the option to vote for additional time. I was a replacement juror on one that opted to continue to three years. There was a core group with some of us substitutions. I see by the filing that the attorneys are making the pandemic an issue from the January 2019 indictment-by my rough calculations that particular Grand Jury could have been seated at least 18 months prior to the indictment and have been listening to testimony about this case that long. The Feds also use a huge jury pool, nor do I remember filing out on the juror questionnaire my income.
We have the legal system we have. The President of the United States and the President/CEO of ComEd have the right to use the legal system for their defense. The courts are a mess right now so I can see this exploratory filings happening more often if only to create doubt.
We have a woman and an African American defendant. Those two potentially can say the jury was not reflective of society. I will leave it to the lawyerly types that may have a better understanding if this is even a permissible defense.
Obfuscation…I agree that lawyered up ComEd will make this as difficult as possible…giant utility companies can out resource any plaintiff…I know from personal experience…your electric bill payments help make this possible…isn’t it great?
The people on this thread have to realize that the individual defendants aren’t the ones that are coming up with these legal theories - they have very well seasoned and experienced attorneys in the field that know how to navigate the federal process. This motion may or may not not bear fruit, but it sends a message that the Government will have to work extremely hard every step of the way to get convictions in these cases.
–Cable Line Beer Gardener–
Yep there could be some ‘age’ to whatever jury they are challenging. In our neck of the woods it was for 12 months (several years ago), and it met one day a month.. Although our little part of the southern district doesn’t have the volume of the northern district
Not a lawyer, but this seems like a novel approach. I was always under the assumption that secrecy of members and proceedings before a Grand Jury were almost sacrosanct. Has this ever been tried before? Successfully?
I’m not familiar with how federal grand juries are seated, but question whether they would even have all of this information on potential jurors, particularly religion, occupation and income. Like others, I think it’s a signal that they can play hard ball.
===Obfuscation…I agree that lawyered up ComEd will make this as difficult as possible…giant utility companies can out resource any plaintiff…===
I’m fairly confident with ComEd entering into a Deferred Prosecution agreement with the feds, which they are cooperating with the investigation, these defendants are paying for their lawyers on their own dime.
“Among other things, they want to know the race, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, year of birth, zip code, income and occupation of all grand jurors empaneled during the pandemic.” Why do they need a person’s personal information from people who who served on the jury? They are sitting the people of the jury up to be harassed.
Racial discrimination in jury selection is unconstitutional and while other factors haven’t yet reached that height across country via SCOTUS (state laws differ and some federal appellate circuits), the other factors may be recognized as necessary to reach a representative jury pool, which itself is a requirement.
- West Side the Best Side - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:19 pm:
Two comments, one more serious than the other. The old saying is the prosecution is able to get the grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Since the 1986 Batson case until I stopped doing law stuff in the Cook County courts in 2016, I never saw anyone challenge the makeup of a grand jury. Batson was raised, less so as the years went on, as far as trial juries, but if it ever happened as far as the grand jury that I never saw, or even heard about. Anecdotal evidence at best I know, but maybe based on the ham sandwich theory of why bother because the State will just go back to another grand jury for another sandwich.
Glad to know that you believe constitutional rights end at allegations by a prosecutor against a person. It doesn’t matter what these four are accused of, they deserve a fair constitutional process from start to finish, investigation to trial.