One More Call to Respect the Time of Grand Jurors

7 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2016

See all articles by Ben Trachtenberg

Ben Trachtenberg

University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: March 24, 2016


This Article replies briefly to the robust response that Professor Frank O. Bowman III submitted in answer to my earlier contribution to the Missouri Law Review’s symposium issue concerning events in Ferguson, Missouri. Without denying the technical accuracy of a point Professor Bowman raises concerning grand jury procedures (distinguishing between a “true bill” and a valid indictment), I dispute whether the distinction can support all of the weight placed upon it. I also dispute an empirical claim made by Professor Bowman concerning whether grand jury deliberations in sensational cases boost public confidence in the justice system and whether dispensing with the ritual — only in cases where the prosecutor believes at the close of evidence that no indictment should be brought — would create risks to public safety. Finally, I take a moment to clarify what I did — and what I did not — argue in my earlier Article.

Keywords: Grand jury, grand juries, Robert P. McCulloch, Bob McCulloch, Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, Ferguson, police, recusal, conflict of interest, legal ethics, professional responsibility, criminal procedure, St. Louis, St. Louis County, Eric Garner, Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Rule 3.8, M

Suggested Citation

Trachtenberg, Ben, One More Call to Respect the Time of Grand Jurors (March 24, 2016). 80 Missouri Law Review 1127 (2015), University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-09, Available at SSRN:

Ben Trachtenberg (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States

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