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Unofficial Opinion 97-3

Unofficial Opinion 97-3

January 17, 1997
To: 

Senator
District 2

Re: 

Neither a district attorney nor members of the district attorney's staff should be present for deliberations of the grand jury.

This letter responds to your recent inquiry regarding the presence of members of a district attorney's office during deliberations of the grand jury.

Under O.C.G.A. § 15-12-67 as currently codified, each member of the grand jury takes an oath to "keep the deliberations of the grand jury secret unless called upon to give evidence thereof in some court of law in this state." Notably, this Code Section had formerly been amended by the General Assembly in 1994 to read: "[T]he prosecuting attorney and members of the grand jury shall keep secret anything occurring in the grand jury room unless called upon to give evidence thereof in some court of law in this state." 1994 Ga. Laws 874, 874-75.

The current emphasis in this Code Section clearly is for the grand jury to deliberate in secret, therefore, in the interest of secrecy, neither the district attorney nor the district attorney's staff should be present during any deliberations.

Prepared by:

CAROL A. CALLAWAY
Senior Assistant Attorney General