Ohio Chief Justice Says Panel To Study Grand Jury Updates

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court says a committee will study possible changes to the state’s grand jury system.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor says the panel will recommend ways to improve the functioning of grand juries and steps to boost public confidence in the justice system. Citizens serving on grand juries decide whether felony charges should be brought against a defendant.

O’Connor said Wednesday the group isn’t exploring whether the system, created by the Ohio Constitution, should be eliminated.

A spate of fatal police shootings in recent months led to suggestions that the court replace closed-door grand juries with a public indictment process.

Secrecy of grand jury deliberations is among the topics up for review by the Supreme Court committee. The panel’s report is due by June 15.