Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas, has filed an interesting challenge to a grand jury investigating his activities. Kansas allows citizens to gather signatures to call a grand jury investigation. Pro-life supporters did so in Sedgwick County investigate whether Tiller has violated a 1998 state law restricting late-term abortions. He claims that it is nothing more than retaliation and abuse from pro-life forces.
The Kansas system harkens back to the original traditions of the grand jury as an investigatory tool of laypersons before it became a rubber stamp for prosecutors. It can be a great tool to fight government abuse, but it can also put minority groups or unpopular individuals at risk. Nevertheless, it is an issue left to each state to determine in how to manage grand juries or to eliminate them entirely.
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