SAN JOSE (KCBS)— San Jose independent police auditor Judge Ladoris Cordell says it’s time to do away with grand juries, which have been around since 1791 and that they no longer serve their purpose. This follows two grand juries that decided not to indict officers who killed unarmed black men.
The much respected former San Jose judge said they are used by prosecutors for political cover.READ MORE: California Drought: Healdsburg Bans Sprinklers; Sets Personal Water Use To 74 Gallons A Day
“Prosecutors basically pass off the decision of whether or not there’s probable cause to believe these officers engaged in criminal conduct. They pass it off to grand jurors instead of making the decision themselves because they don’t want to take the heat,” Cordell said.READ MORE: 3-Alarm Fire Burns 2 Buildings at West Oakland Recycling Center
Santa Clara County D.A. Jeff Rosen, who has defended the grand jury system, said his office does not use grand juries in fatal officer-involved shootings like the high-profile case in Ferguson Missouri, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer.
“In our county, either I decide to file charges against the officer or if not I issue a very detailed report that’s 25,30, 35 pages long that goes through all the evidence, the facts, the law and why we’re not filing charges,” he said.MORE NEWS: Update: One Killed, Two Injured When Truck Crashes Into Diners at San Jose Sports Bar
Rosen said the grand jury is a very effective tool that law enforcement has to indict cases involving multiple defendants.