Why is the grand jury proceeding secret?

New York law requires that grand jury proceedings be conducted in secret. There are three main reasons that secrecy of the grand jury is essential:

  • Secrecy ensures full cooperation of witnesses, free of fear of public humiliation, social stigma, retaliation, or other reprisal
  • Secrecy allows confidential deliberation by the grand jurors free from outside influence, political pressure, or popular opinion
  • Secrecy protects the innocent from needless public embarrassment or stigma where they are investigated but never formally accused

Show All Answers

1. What is a grand jury?
2. Why does New York need grand juries?
3. Who presents evidence to the grand jury?
4. Who decides what evidence to present to the grand jury?
5. What types of evidence are received by the grand jury?
6. What is grand jury witness immunity?
7. How does the grand jury know what law to apply to a case before it?
8. How can we be sure the prosecutor acts properly before the grand jury?
9. What happens after all the evidence has been presented?
10. Do the grand jurors know about all of these powers?
11. Why is the grand jury proceeding secret?
12. Is the grand jury symbolic in New York? (It’s been said that a prosecutor can “indict a ham sandwich.”)