Wednesday, August 20, 2014

District Attorney to convene special grand jury - Eric Garner

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- After a "careful" review of the evidence, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan announced Tuesday that he will convene a special grand jury to determine whether to levy charges in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

"I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of [Eric Garner's] death to a Richmond County Grand Jury," a statement released by Donovan's office reads. "Yesterday, the Court granted my application for the impaneling of an additional Grand Jury and I intend to utilize that Grand Jury sometime next month to begin presenting evidence on this matter."
While Pantaleo or any other suspect could have been arrested prior to the impaneling of a grand jury, lawyers told the Advance they doubted an arrest would occur prior to a grand jury presentation.

That's because a felony arrest case must be put to the panel within six days if the defendant doesn't make bail, which would put an enormous amount of pressure on the DA to lay out the evidence under significant time constraints.

Waiting to make an arrest until after the grand jury is presented with the evidence buys prosecutors more time.