Payette County Prosecuting Attorney's Office Grand Jury Information
The Structure of the Grand Jury
The Grand Jury consists of 16 men and women selected from the community. It is conducted at the direction of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In order for a Grand Jury to hear a case there must be at least 12 jurors present.
Grand Jurors will be notified of all hearing dates by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Once all the jurors are present, the Prosecuting Attorney will give a brief synopsis of the case. She will then inform the jury as to the law. Next, witness are called. Witnesses are initially subpoenaed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. However, should the jurors believe that additional testimony is needed, they may also subpoena witnesses.
At the conclusion the testimony of each witness, the Grand Jurors will be allowed to pose their own questions to the witness. The presiding juror will go first, followed by the deputy presiding juror and then the jury at large.
Once all the witnesses have testified, the jury will deliberate in private. If at least 12 persons vote to indict the accused, the presiding juror will sign the indictment. In addition, all jurors will sign a concurrence form indicating their vote.
At the close of the proceedings, the presiding juror presents the indictment and concurrence form to the District Judge.
The Purpose of the Grand Jury
The purpose of the Grand Jury is determine if probable cause exists in a criminal case. Probable cause means it is more likely than not that a crime occurred.
All proceedings before a Grand Jury are secret. Jury members are never to disclose the jury’s deliberation or the vote of any juror. (Idaho Code makes it a misdemeanor to do so!) Jurors may only tell friends, family and employers that they are serving on the Grand Juror.
Secrecy is important for a variety of reasons: 1) to protect the name and privacy of the accused should the Grand Jury decide not to indict; 2) to protect the privacy the victim; 3) to ensure an accused does not have time to alter or destroy evidence and 4) to protect the identity of certain witnesses. It is imperative that the privacy of Grand Jury proceedings be maintained at all times.
Grand Juries typically will be used for two types of cases:
What Payette County Grand Jurors Need to Know
Once you are selected for the Grand Jury, you no longer need to call the code a phone. All hearings will be scheduled by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. If you are going to be out of town or have any scheduled vacation or medical appointments, please contact Michelle at the Prosecutor’s Office. We will always make an effort to work around the lives and schedules of each Grand Juror.
If you have an employer that needs to confirmation that you are a standing member of the Grand Jury, please notify Michelle or Anne-Marie and a letter will be sent.
Grand Jurors serve for six months. After the six months, you will be notified of your discharge. Please remember that after two years, your name goes back into the “hat” and you may be called upon again for jury duty.
Your service is greatly appreciated. If you have any suggestions as to how service on the Grand Jury can be improved, please let us know.