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Women voters hosted grand jury forum

Grand juries, which have been in the news lately, will be the subject of a forum hosted Monday by the League of Women Voters, Rochester Metropolitan Area.

Speakers include Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley and Roger Brazill, first assistant public defender in the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office. The program, which will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave., Rochester, will be moderated by the Rev. Lawrence Hargrave, pastor for Outreach Ministries at the church.

The forum, “The Grand Jury System: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?” will explore the historical content of the grand jury system and its current usage to better understand proposed legislation.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he will appoint a “special monitor” to review grand jury decisions in cases where police are not indicted for killing unarmed civilians. In response, state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has asked the governor to grant his office the authority to investigate and prosecute cases involving police action resulting in the death of unarmed citizens.

Most recently, Chief Jonathan Lippman announced he will submit a bill to the state Legislature to have judges preside over grand jury proceedings in “cases involving allegations of homicide or felony assault against police officers” and that transcripts of the proceedings be released in cases of “significant public interest” whether or not the proceedings result in an indictment.

Those planning to attend the forum are asked to register at http://bit.ly/19Df6F7.

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