The recent non-indictments of police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo have shed light on the secret process of grand jury deliberations, by which a group of ordinary citizens hears a case from a prosecuting attorney and privately decides whether or not there is enough evidence to bring charges against a suspect. Here’s the step-by-step process of how grand juries decide cases:
- Step 1: Before presenting the evidence, the prosecuting attorney gives background information on the suspect, the alleged crime, and the law, and gives the jury an idea of what kind of verdict they’re going for.
- Step 2: After the prosecutor offers documents, video recordings, witness testimony, and other evidence to the jury, they retire to deliberate which decision will cause the most people to completely lose any remaining shred of faith in the American judicial system.
- Step 3: Before discussions begin, the ice is broken by having jurors go around the courtroom and share one law they’ve broken or would like to break.
- Step 4: If jurors have any questions or concerns, they write them down and discuss them later in an exclusive interview with a network news anchor.
- Step 5: The jury continues to deliberate until all members have paired up romantically with another juror.
- Step 6: If the jury is hung after continued deliberations, the decision defaults to the longest-running institutionalized prejudice.
- Step 7: Jurors are encouraged to sign the sequestration guest book located in their motel room.
- Step 8: The jury’s decision may be overturned if the court finds jurors were improperly influenced by their consciences.