State v. Bell

#GrandJury #CrimPro #Homicide #LesserIncluded

Appellant was indicted first-degree murder. At the grand jury presentment, a grand juror asked multiple times if there were different degrees of murder. Nonetheless, the prosecutor did not offer any instruction on lesser included crimes, but rather sought to “clarify” the issue. After reviewing other jurisdictions’ responses to the same issue, the Supreme Court held that the prosecutor did not make a misstatement or mislead the grand jury. And it is within the prosecutor’s discretion which charges to bring to the grand jury, thus there was no error. The Court did include a brief advisory note that there could be times that better practice would call for reading lesser included charges to the grand jury.