Joe Gratz via Flickr
In Oregon, before a person can be charged with a felony offense, prosecutors must convince a grand jury that there’s enough evidence to bring a case against a defendant. In 36 states, the proceedings of grand juries are recorded, but Oregon is not among them. Reporter Lee van der Voo with InvestigateWest has looked into grand jury deliberations in the state and how some critics would like those proceedings to change.
Multnomah County is the only county where some grand jury proceedings are recorded — those involving police use of force. Van der Voo explains that policy began after the fatal police shooting of Aaron Campbell, and that recent grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have elevated a reform conversation that was already happening.
We talk with van der Voo about her story on how grand juries work now and what kinds of proposed changes are likely to come up in the 2015 legislative session.