Grand jury not at fault


Published: Friday, January 7, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 11:39 p.m.
Frequently, Bill Cervone's assistant state attorneys will name the source of their jury trial futility as "liberal" Gainesville jurors. In his letter (Dec. 30), assistant State Attorney Geoffrey Fleck puts a new spin on this old bogeyman: "conservative" grand jurors.
Fleck holds the grand jurors responsible for the collapse of the Praveen Vedam prosecution. He says that any first-year law student knows that the grand jury indicts people and the prosecutor simply stands ready to follow its command.
Well, sometime after that, first-year lawyers learn that the term for a grand jury that does not follow the lead of the prosecuting attorney is a "runaway" grand jury.
I would hope that Cervone would instruct his staff that it is improper to blame jurors for the misfortune of the State Attorney's Office. Since Cervone often criticizes judges and jurors in the media, I doubt this practice will end.
Howard Lidsk, Gainesville

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