The Nation: The Trials of the Grand Jury

Ever since the grand jury system started under Britain's King Henry II in 1166, it has been hailed as a guardian of the people and denounced as an oppressive tool of the government. Both descriptions can be accurate, for a grand jury is as good or bad as the people on it. The Watergate grand jury that handed up last week's historic indictment will be remembered as one of the best.

Convened on June 5, 1972, to hear evidence of crimes in the District of Columbia, the grand jury was shortly presented with the...

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