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Old April 15, 2012, 02:36 PM   #6
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,813
Originally Posted by animal
...What I’m wondering most about are cases that did not have clear evidence at indictment and where there was a possible ulterior motive for an official to indict...
First, just so we're all clear, the term "indictment" is most precisely used to refer to an accusation brought by a grand jury. When the accusation is brought directly by a prosecutor, it's usually referred to as an "information" or "complaint."

There no doubt have been cases in which a prosecutor improperly filed charges. And no doubt there have been cases in which an indictment perhaps should not have been handed down by a grand jury. Grand juries can make mistakes or be swayed by passion or prejudice too -- or by prosecutorial misconduct.

Perhaps the most notorious recent case is the 2007 indictment of three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team for rape. The charges were ultimately dropped and the prosecutor disbarred.

What really provides for due process is that fact that the process is layered. There are numerous ways in which to challenge an accusation before trial, during trial and after trial.

Originally Posted by animal
...Does anyone know of a case concerning wrongful prosecution brought before SCOTUS where a person was found not guilty at trial and brought suit against a State because he wasn’t indicted by a Grand Jury?...
That wouldn't happen. One can only appeal if he loses.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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