Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/06/2020          

Grand Jury Reform Act of 2020

Date Version PDF TXT
02/06/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5779 

To provide that in the case of a law enforcement officer who uses deadly 
force against a person, and thereby causes the death of that person, 
a hearing shall be conducted before a judge to determine whether there 
is probable cause for the State to bring criminal charges against the 
law enforcement officer relating to the death of the person, and for 
other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020 
Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia (for himself, Ms. NORTON, Mr. CLAY, Mr. HAS-

TINGS, Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia, Mr. CICILLINE, Ms. MOORE, Mr. 
JEFFRIES, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Ms. KELLY of Illinois, Mr. MEEKS, Mr. 
THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. RICHMOND, Mr. BUTTERFIELD, Ms. 
PLASKETT, Ms. WILSON of Florida, Ms. OMAR, Mr. RUSH, Ms. 
PRESSLEY, Ms. CLARKE of New York, Ms. TLAIB, and Mr. COHEN) in-
troduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the 
Judiciary 

A BILL 
To provide that in the case of a law enforcement officer 

who uses deadly force against a person, and thereby 
causes the death of that person, a hearing shall be con-
ducted before a judge to determine whether there is 
probable cause for the State to bring criminal charges 
against the law enforcement officer relating to the death 
of the person, and for other purposes. 

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2 

•HR 5779 IH

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Grand Jury Reform 4

Act of 2020’’. 5

SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 6

The Congress finds the following: 7

(1) Grand juries are typically used as the proc-8

ess by which allegations of police misconduct are 9

prosecuted. 10

(2) There exists a symbiotic relationship be-11

tween local prosecutors and the law enforcement of-12

ficers who regularly testify in routine grand jury in-13

vestigations. 14

(3) The closeness of this relationship creates 15

public suspicion that accused police officers receive 16

preferential consideration from grand juries when 17

they are subject to grand jury investigations. 18

(4) Police officers have the right to appear be-19

fore the grand jury investigating allegations of 20

wrongdoing by said officer, and give testimony not 21

subject to a thorough cross examination. 22

(5) Grand jury proceedings are by law secret 23

proceedings. 24

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3 

•HR 5779 IH

(6) The secret grand jury process has histori-1

cally resulted in a refusal to indict when the subject 2

of their investigation is a local law enforcement offi-3

cer. 4

(7) The recent grand jury proceedings following 5

the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have 6

followed historical tradition, ending with a refusal to 7

indict the law enforcement officers involved in their 8

deaths. 9

(8) The American people have lost confidence in 10

the secretive grand jury process when it is used to 11

evaluate allegations of police misconduct. 12

(9) The loss of confidence in our system of jus-13

tice leads to the undermining of the principles of 14

equality and justice upon which this country was 15

founded. 16

(10) Preliminary hearings are often replaced 17

with direct presentments, whereby the prosecutor 18

may send a case directly to the grand jury without 19

a public preliminary hearing. 20

SEC. 3. HEARING BEFORE A JUDGE REQUIRED. 21

(a) RECEIPT OF GRANT FUNDS.—In order for a 22

State or unit of local government in a State to be eligible 23

to receive Federal funding under subpart 1 of part E of 24

title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act 25

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4 

•HR 5779 IH

of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10151 et seq.), the State shall comply 1

with the requirements of this section. 2

(b) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.— 3

(1) NOTIFICATION TO PROSECUTOR.—In the 4

case of a law enforcement officer of a local law en-5

forcement agency who uses deadly force against a 6

person in the course of the officer’s employment, 7

and thereby causes the death of that person, not 8

later than 24 hours after the death occurs, the chief 9

officer of the law enforcement agency of the locality 10

in which the death occurred shall report the death 11

to the elected prosecutor of that locality. 12

(2) NOTIFICATION TO GOVERNOR.—Not later 13

than 24 hours after receiving notice under para-14

graph (1), the elected prosecutor of the locality in 15

which the death occurred shall report the death to 16

the Governor of that State. 17

(c) HEARING REQUIREMENT; APPOINTMENT OF SPE-18

CIAL PROSECUTOR.— 19

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 3 days after 20

receiving notice under subsection (b)(2), the Gov-21

ernor of the State in which the death occurred shall 22

appoint a special prosecutor to present evidence on 23

behalf of the State at a hearing before a judge in 24

the appropriate court, in order to determine whether 25

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5 

•HR 5779 IH

probable cause exists for the State to bring criminal 1

charges against the law enforcement officer relating 2

to the death of the person, which determination shall 3

be made by the judge. The Governor shall use a ran-4

dom process to select the special prosecutor from 5

among all of the elected prosecutors in the State, ex-6

cluding the elected prosecutor of the locality in 7

which the death occurred. 8

(2) TIMING.—The hearing described in para-9

graph (1) shall be held not later than 90 days after 10

the appointment of the special prosecutor, unless the 11

judge determines that good cause exists to delay the 12

hearing. 13

(3) COURT TO REMAIN OPEN TO THE PUB-14

LIC.—Except as determined appropriate by the pre-15

siding judge, in a hearing described in paragraph 16

(1), the court shall remain open to the public, and 17

upon scheduling the hearing the judge shall provide 18

notice to the public of the date, time, and location 19

of the hearing. 20

(d) STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO HAVE 21

EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY OVER INVESTIGATION.— 22

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 24 hours 23

after receiving notice under subsection (b)(2), the 24

Governor shall report the death to the chief officer 25

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6 

•HR 5779 IH

of the State law enforcement agency of the State in 1

which the death occurred, and the State law enforce-2

ment agency shall assume exclusive control of the in-3

vestigation of the death during the pendency of the 4

probable cause hearing. 5

(2) COOPERATION OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCE-6

MENT AGENCY.—The chief officer of the law enforce-7

ment agency of the locality in which the death oc-8

curred shall cooperate with the special prosecutor 9

and the chief officer of the State law enforcement 10

agency by responding promptly to requests for infor-11

mation related to the death. 12

(e) WRITTEN DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE 13

CAUSE.—Not later than 5 days after the conclusion of a 14

hearing described in subsection (c), the judge presiding 15

over the hearing shall issue the determination described 16

in subsection (c) in writing, and shall submit such deter-17

mination to the elected prosecutor of the locality in which 18

the death occurred. Such determination shall be made 19

available to the public. 20

(f) RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SPECIAL PROS-21

ECUTOR.—Upon the conclusion of a hearing described in 22

subsection (c), the special prosecutor shall submit written 23

recommendations to the elected prosecutor of the locality 24

in which the death occurred, including a recommendation 25

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7 

•HR 5779 IH

regarding whether criminal charges should be brought 1

against the law enforcement officer relating to the death 2

of the person. 3

(g) TOLLING OF PROCEDURAL DEADLINES.—Any 4

applicable filing or other procedural deadlines are tolled 5

during the pendency of the hearing described in subsection 6

(c). 7

(h) PRESERVATION OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRE-8

TION.—The hearing described in subsection (c) shall be 9

purely advisory, and shall have no binding effect on the 10

elected prosecutor of the locality in which the death oc-11

curred. After the conclusion of the hearing described in 12

subsection (c), the elected prosecutor of the locality in 13

which the death occurred shall retain prosecutorial discre-14

tion as to whether to bring charges against the law en-15

forcement officer, including whether to hold a grand jury 16

proceeding in the appropriate court. 17

Æ 

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Picture Name From Date Type
Henry Johnson D-GA 02/06/2020 Sponsor
Frederica Wilson D-FL 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Rashida Tlaib D-MI 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Bennie Thompson D-MS 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
David Scott D-GA 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Janice Schakowsky D-IL 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Bobby Rush D-IL 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Cedric Richmond D-LA 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Ayanna Pressley D-MA 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Stacey Plaskett D-VI 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Ilhan Omar D-MN 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
Eleanor Norton D-DC 02/06/2020 Cosponsor
1 to 12 of 22 Desc 12
Date Branch Action
02/06/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.Action By: House of Representatives
02/06/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
There is one summary for H.R.5779. View summaries Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Grand Jury Reform Act of 2020 This bill conditions a state or local government's receipt of funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program on the state's compliance with certain requirements following an incident involving the use of deadly force by a local law enforcement officer that results in a person's death. Specifically, the governor must appoint a special prosecutor to present evidence before a judge to determine whether probable cause exists to criminally charge the law enforcement officer. The hearing must be open to the public.
There is one summary for H.R.5779. View summaries Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Grand Jury Reform Act of 2020 This bill conditions a state or local government's receipt of funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program on the state's compliance with certain requirements following an incident involving the use of deadly force by a local law enforcement officer that results in a person's death. Specifically, the governor must appoint a special prosecutor to present evidence before a judge to determine whether probable cause exists to criminally charge the law enforcement officer. The hearing must be open to the public.
Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Grand Jury Reform Act of 2020 This bill conditions a state or local government's receipt of funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program on the state's compliance with certain requirements following an incident involving the use of deadly force by a local law enforcement officer that results in a person's death. Specifically, the governor must appoint a special prosecutor to present evidence before a judge to determine whether probable cause exists to criminally charge the law enforcement officer. The hearing must be open to the public.
Shown Here:Introduced in House (02/06/2020) Grand Jury Reform Act of 2020 This bill conditions a state or local government's receipt of funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program on the state's compliance with certain requirements following an incident involving the use of deadly force by a local law enforcement officer that results in a person's death. Specifically, the governor must appoint a special prosecutor to present evidence before a judge to determine whether probable cause exists to criminally charge the law enforcement officer. The hearing must be open to the public.
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki





Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Butter
Butterfield, Ms

Congress
FindingsThe Congress finds the following: (1)Grand juries are typically used as the process by which allegations of police misconduct are prosecuted

Crime
Hearing before a judge required (a)Receipt of grant fundsIn order for a State or unit of local government in a State to be eligible to receive Federal funding under subpart 1 of part E of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U

Florida
Wilson of Florida, Ms


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type