Legal Question in Criminal Law in Georgia

indictments

What is the rules of the signing of an indictment?If an indictment was issued in 2001 and wasn't signed until 2003, is it legit? How is that possible?

Asked on 3/02/04, 6:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jim Hough Thomas J. Hough, Jr., P.C.
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Re: indictments

It is not clear in the law if there is a positive requirement that an indictment must be signed. Ordinarily one member will be designated "foreman" and that person will sign the indictment. The cases I have seen, however, seem to indicate that the issue is whether the grand jury returned a "true" bill rather than a "no" bill upon consideration of the case before it.

That having been said, it seems irregular that an indictment would not be signed for two years. It seems highly unlikely that a grand jury in 2003 was composed of the same members in 2001. I would not hesitate to attack the legal sufficiency of such an indictment, particularly because the lack of settled case law works both for and against the State as well as the Defendant.

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3/02/04, 8:01 pm

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