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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keep the cat in the bag!

On Monday, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares asked newly minted New York governor David Paterson to allow evidence regarding the Elliot Spitzer / Joseph Bruno “Troopergate” investigation to be released to the public. Yesterday the governor sent New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo a letter requesting a “formal advisory opinion” on waivers of executive privilege and the secrecy rules surrounding grand jury presentations.

While the press has focused on the issue of executive waiver, the real story seems to me to be the DA’s request for a “waiver of Grand Jury secrecy” under a specific section of the New York Criminal Procedure Law that deals with motions to quash subpoenas. As I told New York Times reporter Danny Hakim when he called me yesterday for comment, a grand jury is ostensibly a protection for us all. It is a buffer between the unfettered power of the state and an individual citizen’s rights. A prosecutor convenes a grand jury to go after bad guys. If there are no charges, then the grand jury process should not be made public. That’s what the rules say. By the way, it’s nice to have a law professor of the stature of Stephen Gillers say I got it right! CR

1 comment:

Eddie Maisonet, III said...
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