Public Comment Sought on Grand Jury Task Force Report
Public comment concerning the final report and recommendations of the Task Force to Examine Improvements to the Ohio Grand Jury System will be accepted until Aug. 31, according to the Ohio Supreme Court. The task force issued its recommendations to improve the public’s trust and confidence in the grand jury system on July 13.
Appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the 18-member statewide task force included a diverse group of judges, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, law professors, legislators, a member of law enforcement, and community leaders.
Among the report’s 10 recommendations are:
- Grant the Ohio Attorney General’s Office exclusive authority to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute police lethal use of force cases.
- Establish a process for the release of the grand jury record under limited circumstances.
- Create education and outreach programs – directed to the general public and students – to improve understanding of the role of the grand jury in Ohio’s criminal justice system.
- Strengthen grand jury independence.
- Expand Ohio Jury Instructions to emphasize the grand jury’s role as an independent arbiter of facts in each case.
- Improve grand jury orientation.
Public comment should be submitted in writing or via email to:
John VanNorman, Policy and Research Counsel
Ohio Supreme Court
65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Publication for public comment of the task force report and recommendations does not imply that the Supreme Court endorses or will ultimately adopt any or all of the recommendations proposed by the task force.