Ali Lombardo


In 1992, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Williams that the federal courts do not have the supervisory power to require prosecutors to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. This Note argues that the Williams decision is flawed because it diminishes crucial rights of defendants and because it prevents the grand jury from fulfilling its protective function. In Section II, this Note examines the historical background and purpose of the grand jury in England and America. Section III discusses the Williams decision and the rationale behind both the majority and dissenting opinions. It also discusses the flaws and injustice of the decision. Section IV focuses on the jurisdictions that require prosecutors to present exculpatory to the grand jury. Section V proposes a statute for prosecutors in Ohio and explains the reasons for the statute as well as the effects of such a statute. Finally, this Note concludes that jurisdictions that currently require prosecutors to introduce exculpatory evidence to state grand juries provide justice because they offer necessary protections, and because they allow juries to make unbiased, independent decisions.

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