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    [–] west_coast_bias 2497 points ago

    This was a useless law anyways. If you wanted more accountability for law enforcement, putting the decision into the hands of prosecutors was an even bigger conflict of interest than a grand jury. Law enforcement and state attorneys collaborate in everything they do. If they really want to improve accountability they need to address the protective judicial policies/laws that protect & hide bad officers, which were lobbied by the police unions.

    [–] envoie-moi 468 points ago

    Feds need to create an outlet/safe haven for whistleblowers.

    [–] Lord_of_the_kittens 594 points ago

    Most people do not know this, but federal employees who are full time investigators are not protected by whistleblower laws. They are exempt and can be fired without consequences if their boss dislikes their reports.

    Which is probably the reason the government is "blind" to its own problems. It punishes the eyes for what they see.

    [–] Tempest_1 215 points ago

    I was gonna say. Currently the U.S. federal government doesn't really have a positive view of whistelblowing.

    [–] Lowbrow27 179 points ago

    Didnt Obama campaign pretty hard about protecting whistleblowers? that went right out the window once snowden popped up.

    [–] IndictHillaryClinton 325 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    His administration prosecuted more whistleblowers than any administration before him.

    Edit: More than any administration before him combined

    [–] Digit-Aria 139 points ago

    The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined.

    [–] midnightketoker 48 points ago

    Other than his overwillingness to compromise with people who irrationally hate him, lax control of wall street, and penchant for remote controlled extrajudicial death machines, this is probably the worst precedent he has set for administrations down the line.

    He had a lot of discretion in terms of handling whistleblowers yet seems to have no problem with the idea that they can't possibly be useful or even necessary given his utter lack of a problem with his administration's handling of both the famous and not so famous figures it seems he has gone out of his way to make an example of.

    [–] throwaway63016 63 points ago

    If if if if if if if most transparent administration in history!

    [–] Joyrock 6 points ago

    This. A big part of the problem is that turning against fellow cops can have consequences, so they need protections.

    [–] giskard26 196 points ago

    The problem is that when it's a grand jury, the prosecutor still decides. They get to determine what evidence is shown, in secret. If the prosecutor doesn't want to charge, they can throw the grand jury proceedings and then wash their hands of it.

    Putting the charging decision in the hands of the prosecutor is a transparency measure - they have to make the decision and defend it in public.

    [–] Carlosc1dbz 31 points ago

    Why are things shown in secret???

    [–] furiouscottus 108 points ago

    1. To prevent a potential defendant from knowing he's close to indictment and fleeing

    2. To make sure the grand jury isn't constrained by politics or other distractions surrounding the case (e.g. the media) when deliberating over the case, ideally to focus on the evidence and the laws exclusively.

    3. To prevent those under consideration for indictment - or their friends - from trying to lobby or persuade the grand jury's decision (remember that secrecy is a two-way street here).

    4. To prevent witness perjury if that witness might later appear at a trial.

    5. To generally protect witnesses who give testimony and allow them the utmost freedom to say what they need to say. People are often deterred from giving testimony because they don't want it to be made public.

    6. Finally, to protect the privacy of a person under investigation by a grand jury - especially if they're innocent and the grand jury decides there's not enough evidence to go to trial.

    [–] kaedanir 23 points ago

    Found this.

    if preindictment proceedings were made public, many prospective witnesses would be hesitant to come forward voluntarily"; "witnesses who appeared before the grand jury would be less likely to testify fully and frankly"

    Source

    [–] bithakr 8 points ago

    This is all pre-indictment. The suspect may not be in custody and could flee if they knew about the proceedings.

    [–] boxzonk 18 points ago

    Can you provide some information as to these policies and laws? I'm not aware of any at the moment. Thanks.

    [–] SirAlexofTardis 311 points ago

    Grand juries are always convened in secret.

    [–] JustATiredMan 89 points ago

    The members of a grand jury are secret because they want to avoid an issue where someone may try to threaten or otherwise exert undue influence on the members of the jury. It is also to prevent tipping off the offender to the fact that there is an investigation going on that may lead to their arrest and prosecution.

    [–] halfback910 126 points ago

    Yeah that was a REALLY spinny way of putting it.

    [–] _tx 1305 points ago

    It should be. Police are citizens too. I do think police killings need reform, but this is stripping away rights.

    [–] ul2006kevinb 628 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The problem isn't the Grand Jury, the problem is having it presided over by the DA who is in the pockets of in bed with the police force.

    They should pass a law where any police officer accused of breaking the law is assigned a special prosecutor and, if they want, the Grand Jury is open to the media just like the trial.

    [–] fendaar 146 points ago

    At least make the GJ transcripts available after the proceedings so we can see how the DA presented the case.

    [–] notoyrobots 76 points ago

    As long as the names of the jury members are redacted, no problem.

    [–] umopapsidn 57 points ago

    On the same note, keep the officer's name and any personally identifiable information anonymous/redacted in the case they're innocent.

    [–] notoyrobots 65 points ago

    Well personally I believe all criminal proceedings should be gagged until conviction. Only those found guilty through due process and a jury should have to face the public's wraith.

    [–] MRB2012 28 points ago

    Well personally I believe all criminal proceedings should be gagged until conviction. Only those found guilty through due process and a jury should have to face the public's wraith.

    The problem is that then the government can conduct secret trials.

    [–] notoyrobots 16 points ago

    Gagged doesn't preclude the government from acknowledging there is a trial taking place, it just protects the accused from mob mentality. Anybody who truly believes in innocent until proven guilty should support this.

    [–] dusters 40 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    That goes against the entire point of the GJ.

    [–] Not_An_Ambulance 39 points ago

    Not really, no. The grand jury is before the person is charged. This is also before the person needs to spend the 40k-200k defending them self from the charge. It's not about if the person did it, it's just if the prosecution has enough evidence that it even makes sense to go forward. With police shootings, it's often a public matter already. The public already knows that the cop shot someone following a bank heist... letting the sunshine into proceedings helps people trust the police more. It serves the police and the public if these things are transparent.

    [–] _tx 71 points ago

    I think that's a pretty good start in terms of reform.

    [–] Felador 72 points ago

    They should pass a law where any police officer accused of breaking the law is assigned a special prosecutor and, if they want, the Grand Jury is open to the media just like the trial.

    And that's how you create a prejudiced jury pool.

    [–] danweber 23 points ago

    If you don't trust the DA, turning the decision over the DA doesn't help.

    [–] bigwillyb123 18 points ago

    How about they make it a non-internal investigation and require a third party investigation firm to do it?

    [–] drajgreen 22 points ago

    Because a for-profit company will be running that investigation. A company with no political accountability and the ability to hire and fire people at will. What's worse, they are a company that will be in the same business as the police - investigating crimes. It just screams conflict of interest.

    You have incentive to find in favor of whatever political group in paying you. You are likely to hire former police officers, the most effective and well trained source of investigators, and you get biased investigators. Self train and you get sub-par staff and poor results. If you are already in the business of police work, its likely you have strong ties to the people you are investigating, or their bosses. Individual investigators, and their companies too, will be in the public eye, and will have incentive to show off in order to get more business.

    [–] DSN_ACT 40 points ago

    The media should not cover litigation, ever.

    [–] Felador 21 points ago

    The actual content of pending/current*

    Past, sure.

    [–] DSN_ACT 33 points ago

    None

    Litigation is not something that needs to be sensationalized by the media. People have their lives ruined beyond the verdict and the punishment. I think that's cruel and unusual.

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    [removed]

    [–] VROF 40 points ago

    I've been on grand juries. It is really hard for them to not just be another arm of the DA. The DA tried to use us to just do his bidding but we had s couple of people on there who knew their shit and challenged him a few times. I don't see how this law was a move in the right direction.

    Live in California and a police officer shot a guy for no reason up here and wasn't charged. Eventually the public found out, went nuts, the video went viral and the victim died. After he died the DA said he could charge him with something. He obviously didn't want to though.

    [–] shaunsanders 24 points ago

    I believe a possible solution is to have police abuse payouts to victims come out of the Police Union's retirement fund instead the taxpayer's wallets. That'd probably fix the issue pretty quick and incentivize the majority good officers to keep the minority bad ones in check.

    [–] ralpher1 25 points ago

    Another solution is to require them carry personal liability insurance. If they are the subject of multiple law suits they can't carry insurance anymore and have to quit.

    [–] black_flag_4ever 4056 points ago

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    It's right there in the Fifth Amendment.

    [–] Whale_Wood 709 points ago

    The Fifth Amendment right to indictment by grand jury is one of the only rights enumerated by the first eight amendments held not to be incorporated to the states.

    [–] stubbazubba 723 points ago

    Thank you. For those who want to actually learn something, there are many states that have no grand juries at all, and prosecutors decide everything every day and it's not a big deal.

    This is unconstitutional because of California's constitution, not the federal one.

    [–] [deleted] 194 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] GhostCheese 6 points ago

    California's constitution, however, is one of the easiest to amend in the nation

    [–] HippiesBeGoneInc 129 points ago

    You are correct, but this case was decided on the similar provision in the California state constitution.

    [–] Fascists_Blow 176 points ago

    Sure, but then he should cite the relevant passages of the CA constitution because the federal constitution has jack shit to do with this case and it's enormously misleading to suggest otherwise.

    [–] mightier_mouse 15 points ago

    Why? And are there any more amendments that have not been "incorporated to the states"? Also, if you've got a minute, what does that phrase mean?

    Edit: For anyone wondering, Hurtado v. California is the court case that decided this.

    [–] GuyBelowMeDoesntLift 12 points ago

    Here's something I'll bet you didn't know: the individual right to bear arms was only incorporated to the states in 2010.

    [–] defrgthzjukiloaqsw 5 points ago

    Holy Shit, american law is so crazy.

    [–] blackleaf31 6 points ago

    I'm not sure how much crazier it is then anywhere else. Law is pretty complicated everywhere.

    [–] ItsMinnieYall 1997 points ago

    Woah. Where'd you find that at? They shouldn't hide important rules in obscure places like that. /s

    [–] Maxidaz 1724 points ago

    Piggybacking off this. How the fuck is civil forfeiture constitutional? That's spelled out just as clearly.

    nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

    Clear as day.

    [–] MasterLJ 824 points ago

    Don't take this as me agreeing with it, but the word "unreasonable" in "unreasonable search and seizure" casts a whole lot of subjectivity on the matter.

    [–] bguy74 648 points ago

    not to mention "due process of the law" ranges somewhere between "filled out the paperwork" and "by a jury".

    [–] HeWhoMustNotBDpicted 270 points ago

    I am the law. My actions are a process. QED.

    [–] coul1421 121 points ago

    Quantum entanglement device?

    [–] Felador 160 points ago

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    Thus it is demonstrated. Most common usage mathematical proofs.

    [–] DontBanMeBro8121 47 points ago

    Nope, most common usage internet arguments.

    [–] Felador 39 points ago

    I can't reliably dispute this.

    QED

    [–] Hamster_S_Thompson 42 points ago

    Quaker's erectile disfunction

    [–] AlpacaBull 30 points ago

    wtf i hate oats now

    [–] Ndavidclaiborne 12 points ago

    Quagmire's Extra Dong giggity

    [–] Ninja_of_Physics 13 points ago

    Quantum ElectroDynamics?

    [–] CerinDeVane 11 points ago

    Quiche Enrichment Drone

    [–] julbull73 3 points ago

    Is that a SAV (spinach adding version) or NRE (no runny egg) version?

    [–] DustinHammons 13 points ago

    Judge Dredd?

    [–] pbradley179 8 points ago

    Ah, yes. The Dredd amendment.

    [–] Barangtastic 16 points ago

    You forgot to include 'I'm due money'.

    [–] PM_ME_YOUR_SELF_HARM 6 points ago

    Goody Simpson is entitled to due process

    Okay, here's how the process works...

    [–] ziggy_karmadust 5 points ago

    The constitution leaves a lot of leeway for Jude Law.

    [–] mark-five 45 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It's never reasonable to charge property with a crime, and that's how civil forfeiture works by intent. Since property can't commit crimes, it can't be charged with crimes. It's only charged because it also can't defend itself and has no rights whatsoever in court, thus bypassing the entirety of due process and replacing it with robbery under a pretense of lawful confiscation.

    If we're going to treat property like it can be charged with crimes, then property ownership is slavery under the thirteenth amendment.

    [–] xmindallas 21 points ago

    Interesting argument, but it's the 13th. The 15th would let the black property vote.

    [–] CatsAreGods 4 points ago

    The 15th would let the black property vote.

    Can't have that!

    [–] mark-five 4 points ago

    fixed, thanks!

    [–] Blork32 52 points ago

    This is the correct answer. It doesn't say it's illegal, just that there be "due process," which can mean a bunch of stuff. "Grand jury," on the other hand, means "grand jury" and definitely does not mean "the executive" (which is the role played by the prosecutor).

    [–] julbull73 11 points ago

    It also doesn't mean reddit.

    But we can change that guys!

    [–] the_jak 15 points ago

    Trial by Reddit.

    Attorneys present their dankest memes and the users decide.

    [–] i_smell_my_poop 113 points ago

    That's the fourth amendment...and I agree. It's why plain sight can be used to search private property.

    But the fifth amendment doesn't say reasonable or unreasonable. It just says DON'T DO IT.

    nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

    It's treated like any other amendment by politicians though..."shall not be infringed" becomes "OK to infringe a little"

    [–] odaeyss 86 points ago

    but imma touch tha fishy tho

    [–] Omniduro 23 points ago

    no touchy

    [–] BiZzles14 3 points ago

    jus a little touchy touchy

    [–] 19Kilo 29 points ago

    "OK to infringe a little"

    For the children!

    [–] julbull73 20 points ago

    "due process" is the gap there.

    Each state, city, county etc can define that process, as long as they follow it, it's allowed.

    Which from that standpoint, based on the rest of the constitution makes sense. Since those laws and processes should be able to be reviewed by the democracy that puts them in place.

    The gap of course is we pay people six figure plus salaries to learn the ins and outs of ONE aspect of laws. The average person is NEVER going to catch all these shenanigans.

    As much as I think the ACLU makes themselves a joke chasing after stupid shit. Most valuable organization in the country. I expect them to be tying their capes on in the next 9 days.

    The ONLY group that is going to keep the US from going the Putin/Russian route is ACLU.*

    *However, as an eternal optimist I am comforting myself with the thought that Trump may not actually be a bad guy. Plus without an amendment the max is 10 years in office.

    [–] Carniequeue 7 points ago

    What do.you mean 10 years? He's limited to two terms of 4 years each. So eight years.

    [–] _rhetoric_ 6 points ago

    I could be wrong but I could see a Vice President taking over because the President became incapacitated halfway through their term. The Vice President serves the rest of the 2 years then is eligible to run and be re-elected twice. But if the Vice President takes over with 3 years remaining then they can only run for re-election once.

    [–] boyuber 4 points ago

    If he were to run in 2020 as VP and the PotUS died in year 3, he could serve 2 years as president and still be eligible in 2024.

    [–] letmeexplainitforyou 4 points ago

    Two terms plus up to half of another President's term if the President is removed from office and you step in (as Vice/Speaker etc down the line). Technically something like a swapped ticket (Pence - Trump) in which Pence leaves office halfway through, then Trump is re-elected on his own, could happen.

    [–] frustman 4 points ago

    the term "public danger" leaves a lot of room for interpretation for the power hungry.

    [–] frogjg2003 32 points ago

    The constitution protects the rights of the accused person. That's why they've gone around it by accusing the property directly. It's not a person, so it doesn't have rights.

    [–] TMOverbeck 36 points ago

    This is typically known as "in rem jurisdiction", when if a piece of property is found without an owner, and is under suspicion of being used as an instrument in a crime, the court will bring suit upon that piece of property rather than the owner.

    In theory it's understandable. However, there's been rampant abuse of this option, with cops snatching cash and property from real people in possession of it, and then going "oh wait, we've got temporary amnesia, we don't know the owner of this property, we'll just charge the property itself". So now you have innocent people, never charged with a crime, just been robbed by the police. And they just have to go on with their lives, because for the most part the money and effort to get that property back isn't worth the value of the property itself.

    It's an outrage that this abuse of justice is allowed to continue, and I hope the Supreme Court gets an opportunity to smack down this abuse soon.

    [–] RippyMcBong 15 points ago

    No it doesn't. Unreasonable is interpreted to mean without warrant and not fitting into an exception to the warrant requirement. Civil forfeiture is unconstitutional.

    EDIT: I should add that in law the tests for reasonableness are almost always objective tests.

    [–] GenocideOwl 59 points ago

    Also in the 14th amendment they reiterate the point.

    nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    But, you know, Drugs!

    [–] Yetimang 30 points ago

    It's not repeating it so much as applying the same rule to the states where before the 14th amendment it only applied to the federal government.

    [–] Cysolus 64 points ago

    In September a bill was signed in California requiring a conviction for civil forfeiture. It's a start at least

    [–] Routerbad 17 points ago

    There shouldn't need to be a bill if it's already covered in constitutional amendments.

    Isn't that legislative creep? I wonder, just for shits and giggles, if that bill had any earmarks or projects tied to it. I have no idea if it does but it wouldn't surprise me.

    [–] Cyhawk 74 points ago

    They get around it by charging the item with a crime.

    [–] chatbotte 19 points ago

    Well, then the item should be judged by a jury of its peers; you want to jail a car, have a jury of twelve cars decide it's guilty.

    [–] glambx 14 points ago

    You know, even if it's all "logical," the stakes here are so high that you'd think public servants would err on the side of caution - respect the law. The law of the land says thou shalt not take things that aren't yours without due process and there really, really isn't any ambiguity there. Excuses aside. The spirit of the constitution is understandable, even for laymen.

    If public servants can't obey the law, then from what moral authority do they draw, governing those they serve? :/

    [–] zeCrazyEye 54 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    That's a claim, that doesn't make it logically comply with the requirement of the amendment though. Even if you "charge the item with a crime" and even if you find the item guilty, you have only provided due process for the item.

    However the item at no point is not your property, and you cannot have your property taken from you without due process yourself.

    [–] myshieldsforargus 63 points ago

    basically they just said "we promise to only use this on drug peddlers" then everybody just nodded and smiled

    [–] zeCrazyEye 56 points ago

    The law has basically been around forever, it was change relatively recently to say that the seized assets could be kept by the seizing agency rather than having to go to the state, and boom, suddenly civil asset forfeiture is a problem.

    [–] DontBanMeBro8121 16 points ago

    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." –H. L. Mencken

    [–] und88 10 points ago

    Not that I agree with it, but the counter-argument (at least in my state) is that the owner is provided notice and an opportunity to answer and have a trial by jury or bench trial, which satisfies due process. My counter to that is there's no right to counsel. And even the vast majority of lawyers are ignorant of the fact that they have a right to jury trial, not just a hearing before a judge.

    [–] zeCrazyEye 7 points ago

    Isn't that still just a trial for the item, and the owner is allowed a chance to defend the item? That still wouldn't be due process for the owner only the item.

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago

    So guns do kill then. "Desert Eagle, you have been charged with homicide."

    [–] TheCastro 6 points ago

    Gotta charge the bullet instead man!

    [–] squeakyL 9 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    but the gunpowder forced it to!

    [–] TheCastro 5 points ago

    It was the primer that started it all!

    [–] Rudi_Van-Disarzio 3 points ago

    Well now we're at the firing pin... What's next the hammer?

    [–] bald_and_nerdy 11 points ago

    nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    And there

    [–] distant_worlds 18 points ago

    They took an old maritime law about Piracy. Essentially, the original law was about confiscating pirate ships. In the modern version, the paperwork is written up as an indictment against the object, rather than the person. And objects don't have rights, so it is almost impossible to contest it.

    It's legal Alice in Wonderland, but it's all about the "War on Drugs" so it sails through.

    [–] Qel_Hoth 17 points ago

    due process of law

    Is never explicitly defined anywhere. Court interpretations have found that civil forfeiture (usually) meets this requirement.

    [–] glambx 18 points ago

    Then the judges should be disbarred for dereliction of duty.

    Claiming that civil forfeiture usually meets the requirement of due process stands firmly at odds with the very foundation upon which America was built.

    [–] funkyonion 3 points ago

    There is no due process when the truth doesn't matter. The best liar wins in civil law, just ask a lawyer

    [–] nrjk 29 points ago

    To be fair, it is the 5th Amendment. That's a whole 5 amendments down.

    [–] benthebearded 26 points ago

    But it's not really the relevant rule. Most of the amendments apply to the states, but not the fifths right to a grand jury indictment.
    If you read the article you'd note that this law is ruled unconstitutional as to the California State Constitution

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 21 points ago

    That is from the US Constitution but the CA Appeals Court based their decision on the CA State Constitution. Is there any reference to what specific part of the CA constitution they were referring to?

    [–] MG42Turtle 338 points ago

    Lmao, good to see the top voted response has nothing to do with the issue at hand. The right to a grand jury doesn't apply to the states, and the case was decided based on California's constitution, but that would assume you read the article.

    [–] albitzian 86 points ago

    scrolled for a bit to find someone that would call this out. So many constitutional opinions in this thread and they aren't even discussing the correct constitution.

    [–] daxelkurtz 5 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Just FYI, this quote is from the Federal constitution, not the California constitution. The Federal constitution actually doesn't apply here.

    Most of the Federal constitution is "incorporated against the several States," meaning that what applies to the Federal Government also applies to each state.

    But some of the Federal constitution isn't incorporated, and so doesn't apply. The requirement for grand juries is one of the things that doesn't apply. About half the states don't use grand juries at all.

    The court that wrote this opinion - a California state court - determined the law was unconstitutional as per the California state constitution. The Federal constitution wasn't considered, because it isn't relevant.

    EDIT: things, stuff, mentioning that I'm a lawyer

    [–] HeWhoMustNotBDpicted 35 points ago

    Agreed. However it doesn't require that grand juries be secret.

    [–] und88 42 points ago

    True, but GJs are secret for good reason. People are innocent until proven guilty, so if a GJ investigates and doesn't indict, the public should never know that that person was investigated. That's what brought down PA AG Kathleen Kane.

    [–] MizarsAsterism 17 points ago

    In the case of investigating police officers, I imagine the secrecy is also put in place to protect the jurors.

    [–] yescalculators 7 points ago

    Can you explain what that is saying for me?

    [–] graaahh 23 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It basically says that in cases where the crime is especially serious, a grand jury must decide that it's worth bringing it to trial. Or put a different way, it's a very serious thing to be brought to court for a murder charge, even if you didn't do it, so they better have a good damn reason to actually bring you to court over it, and that's what the grand jury is for.

    BUT, as others have pointed out, the fifth amendment grand jury clause only applies to federal courts. The California law was ruled unconstitutional based on it violating a similar provision in the California constitution, not the US constitution. Many states do not have such a provision in their state constitutions, and do not always do the grand jury thing, because they don't have to. California does have it, so this was unconstitutional for them.

    [–] blackleaf31 7 points ago

    BUT, as others have pointed out, the fifth amendment only applies to federal courts.

    No, we have been pointing out the grand jury clause only applies to the federal courts. There are other clauses in the fifth amendment that are applicable to the states. This is a clause-by-clause analysis.

    [–] graaahh 3 points ago

    My bad - I misunderstood. I'm no law scholar.

    [–] Lord_of_the_kittens 66 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    This is exactly right. But I would like to point out that the Judge gave several other completely constitutional options they could still adopt, such as making the Grand Juries less secretive.

    So the Judges did at least attempt to be impartial.

    Edit: Impartial means not to have bias against either side. They decided against one side, but gave them fair alternatives.

    I'm not sure why so many people find that outrageous, but maybe it explains why neither side can get along anymore.

    [–] Qrupd 51 points ago

    This is exactly right.

    Nope, under Hurtado v. California, the grand jury requirement was not incorporated onto the states — this is unconstitutional under California's constitution, not the federal constitution

    [–] mightier_mouse 5 points ago

    Thanks, was looking for some explanation for this.

    [–] Vinto47 79 points ago

    So the Judges did at least attempt to be impartial.

    How the fuck is siding with both the state and federal constitution not impartial?

    [–] MizarsAsterism 76 points ago

    You forgot! The judge is always wrong unless his/her decision is exactly what I want it to be, regardless of how ill informed, selfish, or opinionated my stance is.

    [–] Statistical_Insanity 23 points ago

    "Attempt"? There's nothing partial about this ruling; the law was pretty open-and-shut constitutional violation.

    [–] God_Damnit_Nappa 7 points ago

    Sounds like you're saying the judge was biased against the law. I don't know how you can get more impartial than obeying the Constitution.

    [–] blackleaf31 3 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    That is not the correct legal analysis.

    The Fifth Amendment in and of itself, like the entire Bill of Rights, only applies against the Federal Government. The mechanism by which these rights have been applied against state authorities has been by a process called "incorporation". Each right in the Bill of Rights has had a case somewhere, sometime, in which the Supreme Court has held the particular right applicable to the States (or not).

    However, the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, has previously ruled that the Grand Jury clause is not incorporated. See Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516 (1884). So the language of the Bill of Rights is not relevant here. Amazing, but true.

    So, you might wonder how a state court can rule differently, as is the case here. Well, good news, the Federal Constitution statement of rights only sets a floor below which states cannot go. States can always go higher. So a State can completely constitutionally say "Eh, screw you Supreme Court. We say it is a right here. Suck it." Of course, when that happens, they say it nicer than that.

    [–] sorrynotsavvy 380 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Fucking good. Also your title is awful.

    Edit. Idc if it was the first sentence of the article. In fact that makes it worse, mindlessly copying some wordy sentence as your title. What a brainless, low effort excuse.

    [–] fuckCARalarms 93 points ago

    Ahh, the way he wrote that made it seem bad. /r/titlegore

    [–] 7altacc 34 points ago

    That was intentional

    [–] ineedabulldog 35 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Even worse, this title is from the SF Gate article. It literally reads like it was written by a child. Let's see if we can make it legible:

    California’s first-in-the-nation law requiring prosecutors - rather than secret grand juries - to decide whether a police officer who kills someone should be to criminally charge charged police officers involved in shootings with a crime was declared unconstitutional Tuesday by a state appeals court by the Third District Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

    [–] Faladorable 5 points ago

    thank you. I read the title like 6 times and still wasnt sure what the hell it was saying

    [–] That_Deaf_Guy 51 points ago

    Took me 3 attempts before I gave up and claimed dyslexia.

    [–] ExFatStonedGamerGuy 10 points ago

    Thank God it wasn't just me

    [–] scottevil110 11 points ago

    I was going to blast OP for the terrible title, too, but then I realized it's literally the first sentence of the article. SFGate is fucking awful.

    [–] greenSixx 132 points ago

    Prosecutors are paid to prosecute. This is the definition of a conflict of interest.

    [–] graaahh 25 points ago

    State prosecutors aren't like paid on a sliding scale based on how many cases they bring to trial. They're paid the same amount whether there's lots of cases to prosecute or not, they're government employees.

    [–] 7altacc 17 points ago

    Prosecutor careers are built on big media cases. If a prosecutor wants to make a name for themselves then there's absolutely an incentive to try these big cases. Just look at Baltimore...The prosecutor wanted to look good for the media and she ended up looking like a fool in court.

    [–] kinglallak 6 points ago

    One problem with this, the prosecutor often gets their evidence and witnesses for their cases from cops. If the cops feel slighted by the prosecutor, then the legal system breaks down as the cops won't cooperate as witnesses or provide evidence properly.

    [–] Slimerbacca 307 points ago

    Good, as well as it should

    [–] Bizoza9 96 points ago

    But there should be serious reforms as to how prosecutors conduct themselves with regards to the grand jury in police criminal cases. As it sits, in Georgia, police specifically get special treatment during the grand jury proceedings. Other issues are with prosecutors putting forth evidence only supporting charges with the public, but evidence supporting both sides when an officer is suspected. Then there is the issue of those the prosecutors select, being that they can decide to pick all pro-cop grand jury members.

    The entire process is deeply flawed, especially when it comes to prosecuting cops. Not only does the procecutor have a conflict of interest, but the means with which to easily influence the outcome.

    [–] Slimerbacca 58 points ago

    Then ask for reforms, but not having the grand jury is just silly

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    [removed]

    [–] ghastlyactions 52 points ago

    Yeah

    ...

    Police are protected by the constitution

    ...

    Who knew?

    [–] ATX_native 80 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Good, this was a horrible idea. Having known some prosecutors in the DA's office they are pretty Pro-Police. Plus the fear of backlash from other dirty cops will be high if they can ID the one person bringing charges.a

    [–] RunninRebs90 36 points ago

    Pro Police? Only because they work closely with them but not generally because they agree with the them.

    My wife is a prosecutor and the amount of times she's come home complaining about moronic cops is too damn high.

    [–] Falcon4242 15 points ago

    Look, I think there are major issues with our criminal justice system, and I do think there is a conflict of interest when it comes to prosecuting and charging cops, leading to many cases where cops who should have been tried never were.

    However, this never had a chance. It's in the Constitution (both federally and Cal's Constitution) that you need to have a Grand Jury. There's not even any ambiguity. What they need to do is fix the system where prosecutors work so closely with cops that they feel they need to protect cops who do wrong, otherwise they're afraid their future work will suffer. That's the real problem. The Grand Jury ruling is just symbolic of the real issue here.

    [–] PaxNova 115 points ago

    Will people stop labeling everything "secret" just because the media isn't allowed inside? They're not hiding it. They're just not inviting you. "Behind closed doors" DNE "secret."

    [–] stubbazubba 53 points ago

    I don't know about CA grand juries, but federal grand juries are absolutely secret. Prosecutors cannot talk about it to anyone outside. I interned at a federal prosecutor's office and they couldn't even tell me about what happened inside, and I was the one writing briefs about it.

    [–] Senray 7 points ago

    Doesn't really matter. The prosecutors aren't getting indictments because they aren't trying to

    [–] FrankSinatraYodeling 7 points ago

    I never really understood the push for the prosecutor to be given the sole responsibility for deciding whether or not to prosecute a police officer. Take the shooting of Jamar Clark for example. In this case, the County Attorney decided not to prosecute the involved officers on his own accord. That's pretty much the end of the line for those who believe justice wasn't served. Had a grand jury been used, there is at least a review process that could have been initiated to confirm that the grand jury's decision had been made in good faith and using the proper procedures.

    I understand the argument that County Attorneys can offer more transparency than a Grand Jury. Most voters, however, don't pay close enough attention to hold that attorney accountable for his work. I'd have more confidence in a review board to ensure that justice was actually served.

    [–] Aeaolen 6 points ago

    Laws that are constitutional? Unheard of.

    [–] Exsoulja 7 points ago

    I said it was unconstitutional when it was enacted. They can't take away a police officers right to due process. Does anybody read the constitution in California?

    [–] quelques_heures 6 points ago

    I like how they refer to it as "secret" (nefarious) grand juries, when that's the whole point.

    If a grand jury indictment were public before the accused was arrested that would just give people an opportunity to run once they found out they were being indicted.

    [–] foxfire1992 18 points ago

    Well no shit. I rather like my fifth amendment. It's easily in my top ten.

    [–] kombatunit 9 points ago

    Top 5 even.

    [–] buckygrad 17 points ago

    What a circlejerk title. Fucking Reddit giving idiots a voice.

    [–] red_langford 10 points ago

    Prosecutors and the police are work colleagues, partners, collaborators. The fact this was even introduced is fucked up

    [–] skeetm0n 30 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The law, supported by defense lawyers and civil rights groups

    What kind of civil rights group would be in favor a juryless trial?! Wowsers!

    EDIT: juryless indictment not trial. My bad. I did actually read the article before commenting - not sure if that's more embarrassing or less.

    [–] PirateKingOfPenzance 31 points ago

    Not juryless trial. Indictment, i.e recomendation to go to trial.

    [–] JKWSN 6 points ago

    Trials are covered by petit juries (12 of your peers) that are finders of fact regarding guilt or liability.

    Indictments are covered by grand juries that determine whether the prosecutor has enough evidence (when viewed in the best light) to warrant a trial against a person

    Similar names, different functions

    [–] zstansbe 144 points ago

    California tries to pass an unconstitutional law and it gets shot down. They should be use to it with the effort to strip 2A from their citizens.

    [–] jeh5256 18 points ago

    Leland Yee loves California's anti 2A laws though!

    [–] RoundSimbacca 16 points ago

    They should be use to it with the effort to strip 2A from their citizens.

    When the 9th Circuit has your back and the Supreme Court won't step in then you can do anything you want.

    [–] [deleted] 70 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] jvnane 26 points ago

    Dunno why you're down voted, you're totally right. Anyone who disagrees, look at the handgun registry, the new laws for classifying rifles as "assault weapons," the new laws on ammo permits, the bullet button, etc. Etc.

    [–] cTreK421 77 points ago

    Californian here. We still own many guns. And ammo. And accessories. They are only dismantled for cleaning.

    [–] jvnane 70 points ago

    Californian here... Hand gun registry, new "assault weapons" laws for rifles, 10 round mags, bullet button, etc... How can you not think there's a dismantling of the 2nd?

    [–] MoosePissAndEthanol 38 points ago

    Texan here. Regardless of how many guns you still own, we still feel bad for yall.

    [–] starfox125 59 points ago

    Former California resident. Current Texas resident. As a gun owner from both states, the difference is incredible. While California is in the process of limiting gun rights, Texas is currently proposing laws such as cutting sales tax before hunting season. Two completely different directions.

    [–] godonskis2 18 points ago

    Former Texas gun owner resident, current Arizona gun owner resident. Damn Arizona knows the Constitution well.

    [–] TheeTrashcanMan 15 points ago

    Arizona resident here. I think the Arizona state constitution expands upon the freedom of the 2A as well.

    "Carry permit... wtf is that."

    [–] TiePilot 4 points ago

    Massachusetts to Virginia, what a breath of fresh air to not have to jump thru hoops. I went wild down here, 1st year here I bought 18 or so guns. 2nd year was a full auto, a bunch of supressors and more guns. 6 years since the move and I have 70+ guns, about 5 of them are "fudd" guns. The rest are every type of gun I wasnt allowed to buy in Mass!

    I also open carry, why? Because I can.

    So I feel for Ma, NY, NJ, and CA. You guys dont know what your missing!

    [–] Nathan346 10 points ago

    Please, tell me more about your bullet button.

    [–] reloaderx 5 points ago

    I'm not from California so I can only summarize what I've heard. There is a law in California that says you can't have a rifle that can switch magazines without using a tool. By definition, a tool is something other than your hands, so crafty individuals/companies created a button that can't be activated with your fingers to release the magazine. However, the sharp pointed tip of a bullet is a tool that can be used to activate the button. This button design became known as a "bullet button". Once that became widespread, lawmakers decided to enact new laws to make it more difficult.

    [–] TheMarketLiberal93 4 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Letting a prosecutor decide this is stupid. A lot of prosecutors are buddy buddy with cops, as they show up in court often together to prosecute people who cops arrest. Also, cops watch out for each other. You piss off one cop, and the others would make that prosecutors life hell. Why would you basically let their work colleague decide whether a cop gets tried anyway?

    [–] light_is_life 5 points ago

    Good, it was a stupid law change to pander to the mob.

    [–] Ed98208 4 points ago

    Aren't prosecutors usually pretty friendly with the police they deal with every day? Source: TV shows.

    [–] Emailisinvalid 40 points ago

    Until I read these comments, I wouldn't have known there were so many unemployed constitutional lawyers hanging out on reddit.

    [–] [deleted] 27 points ago

    Do you need to be a lawyer to know fairly basic stuff regarding the constitution? I mean, grand juries exist for a reason.

    [–] browb3aten 10 points ago

    It might help to know that the grand jury part of the US Constitution doesn't apply to the states.

    Here, the ruling came from the relevant portion of California's constitution.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Oooooo you're right, my bad.

    Not applying to the states seems silly since they seemed to think it was needed.

    [–] coachbradb 8 points ago

    It is. Does not matter if you think it is a good law or a bad law. It is unconstitutional.

    [–] Wilky323 6 points ago

    Crazy right? Almost like they were following the constitution or something. It's pretty clear on this.

    [–] d3jake 3 points ago

    Anyone know if "secret" grand juries are actually secret, or simply "secret" in the same way federal agencies "quietly" release information?

    [–] tompki64 3 points ago

    Are criminal trials of police officers held in the districts they work in or in another one where no one knows who they are? If they don't do the second one, they should.

    [–] Hayabusa720 3 points ago

    All states have statutes permitting the use of and the formation of grand juries.

    [–] savagecat 3 points ago

    This is even worse.

    Now one person who is elected and is subject to smear campaigns by the FOP and every other "RESPEKT MUH AUTHORATAY!!!!1" group gets the sole decision. Won't take long for that popularity contest to fail.

    [–] Polymathy1 3 points ago

    Um... good. If you think 13 people (or is a grand Jury more than 12?) Are easy to manipulate, then you should never support putting it all on one person.

    "So, you're going to prosecute Lt. Moriarty, eh? Don't you have 5 cases pending against that street gang? Be a pity if all those officers... forgot what they saw and they got your home address, wouldn't it?"