Every three months a new Medina County Grand Jury is sworn in. Judge Kimbler and I rotate as the judge responsible for the quarterly panel. I thought you might be interested in understanding a little more about how a grand jury works.

Each county common pleas court has a grand jury. These jurors are selected randomly, in the same manner as petit or trial jurors. The grand jury is established by the Constitution of the State of Ohio which provides that no person shall be brought to trial for a felony without first being indicted by a grand jury. Our grand jury meets once every two weeks to consider cases brought to it by the Medina County Prosecutorís Office.

The function of the grand jury is not to determine guilt or innocence. That is the function of the trial jury. The grand jury determines whether there is sufficient evidence or probable cause to require an accused to stand trial. The proceedings of the grand jury are secret. Neither the prosecuting attorney nor anyone else, except the grand jurors themselves, are permitted to be in the room with the grand jury when they deliberate or vote. Likewise, the grand jurors may not state or testify as to the opinions expressed or the votes of the grand jurors. The proceedings before a grand jury are forever secret.

If the grand jury finds probable cause, they issue a written charge called an indictment. The Medina County Sheriff then serves the indictment on the defendant. The defendant is brought to court for his arraignment and the criminal proceeding begins.

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This page last updated 03.04.2005