Breonna Taylor: grand juror's bid to end secrecy is right move say experts

“This is not a case in which grand jury secrecy is important,”
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[Breonna Taylor]
Kevin Glowgower: "The public deserves to know everything.That's what continues a sense of accountability, of public trust within our law enforcement community and its administration."
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Nationally recognized authorities on criminal law say an anonymous grand juror’s motion this week to lift the veil of secrecy from the Breonna Taylor case is unprecedented.

"In 45 years of law practice, I have never heard of a grand juror filing such a motion," said Stephen Bright, a leading civil rights lawyer and guest lecturer at Yale Law School.

Emily Bazelon, a senior research fellow at Yale and staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, tweeted “Wow” after The Courier Journal published the first story about the motion Monday night.

“I don’t remember seeing this before,” Bazelon said.

Erwin Chemerkinsky, a legal scholar and dean of the UC-Berkeley School of Law, agreed, saying he had never seen a grand juror sue to make a grand jury transcript public.

It did happen at least once before, however.

In St. Louis County, Missouri, after a grand jury in 2014 declined to indict the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, a grand juror sued for the right to speak out about her experience, but a judge ruled against her, saying the grand jury process “depends upon secrecy and anonymity.”

The Associated Press reported the grand juror accused the county attorney of wrongly implying that all 12 jurors believed there was no support for any charges.

In the Taylor case, the anonymous juror also has demanded the right to speak freely about the case. He accuses Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of using the jurors “as a shield to defect accountability and responsibility” for the decision to not to charge two Louisville officers who fatally shot her during an attempted search of her apartment March 13.

"The public deserves to know everything," the grand juror's attorney, Kevin Glowgower, told ABC News. "… That's what continues a sense of accountability, of public trust within our law enforcement community and its administration."

Mutliple experts told The Courier Journal Glowgower's argument is correct and could help avoid questionable prosecutions or failures to indict.

“This is not a case in which grand jury secrecy is important,” said Bright, a Kentucky native.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear agreed, saying that opening the grand jury recordings "is a good decision, because I believe that the public has a right to see and to question and to get responses."

Read rest of story here: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/breonna-taylor/2020/09/...

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