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Ohio Lawmaker Calls For Change In Grand Jury Process


A Democratic state senator says recent police-involved shootings has led her to ask for a change in a key element of the justice system. 

The closed grand jury process, which hears testimony in secret to determine if charges will be filed by prosecutors, has been a problem in high profile cases, says State Sen. Sandra Williams of Cleveland. 

“Case after case when it comes to the Department of Justice report with the city of Cleveland, the case in Beavercreek, Ohio, and many other cases across the state. And it’s created riots,” Williams said. “And we need to address the concerns that the people have.” 
Williams is asking the Ohio Supreme Court to abolish grand juries, replacing them with a preliminary hearing process – or at least allowing testimony to be public record. But supporters of the grand jury process say it can encourage plea deals, and can protect defendants from overzealous prosecution.state