Impartial jury? Try again. Grand juror from Breonna Taylor case wants to violate grand jury secrecy (op-ed)

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LOUISVILLE, KY – Apparently one of the grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case wants to speak out about the evidence presented to the grand jury, effectively looking to defy the centuries-old practice of grand jury proceedings transpiring in secrecy.

Well folks, strap on your boots – because we’re about to tread in some murky waters on this one.

Just about everyone with a cellphone, television or internet-connected device is aware of the Breonna Taylor case – so I’ll spare you the tired rehashing of the case specifics.

The way I observe the entire case is one of just an unfortunate outcome where just about all parties were right – but no one wins.

My rationale for the “all parties were right” goes as follows.

  • The police had obtained a warrant to be at Taylor’s house, thus having a “right” to be there
  • Obviously, Taylor and her boyfriend lived inside of the home, which means they both had a “right” to be there
  • Police breached the door, which via the warrant, they had a “right” to do
  • Taylor’s boyfriend alleged that he thought the house was being broken into by criminals, so he fired at the perceived intruders – which considering the case against him was dropped – he obviously had a “right” to do
  • Officers that had a “right” to be inside of the home just got shot at, so they returned fire, which they had a “right” to do

Hence, why I refer to this as the case where “all parties were right – but no one wins”.

Now that we’ve covered that element, let’s examine this dumpster fire of a Pandora’s Box that this juror is considering opening.

An attorney, Kevin Glogower, that is representing a currently clandestine grand juror is trying to frame the fact that since Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron spoke about the grand jury’s findings on the Breonna Taylor case not returning an indictment for murder in any sense – that his client should be able to speak about the evidence presented to the grand jury.

According to a court filing in relation to the endeavor Glogower is embarking upon for his client, the following is noted:

“Anonymous Grand Juror #1 submits the Attorney General cannot choose to part from the rules in disclosing information and then use his position to prevent others from responding to his misleading remarks.”

Essentially, this anonymous grand juror wants to out themselves and speak publicly about what the grand jury was presented in total because they’re saying that AG Cameron detailed the findings of the grand jury in a manner that was misleading.

But what exactly was misleading about AG Cameron’s remarks on the grand jury’s findings?

Obviously, we won’t know unless this juror delves into whatever nuance they felt was devoid from AG Cameron’s press release on the lack of any murder-related charges against police in the Taylor case.

But the general message that was conveyed on September 23rd was that no murder-related charges were going to be levied against any officer involved in the warrant serving debacle.

Now, maybe AG Cameron paraphrased some of the elements related to the findings – but the grand jury outcome wasn’t miscommunicated in any part.

There were no murder charges returned, no accidental death charges, no manslaughter charges – nothing of the ilk.

Now, albeit, the AG’s office didn’t recommend any sort of murder charges against the officers that likely fired the rounds that struck Taylor – but they presented all the evidence relating to and allowed the grand jury to return whatever indictments they felt were justified.

At this time, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell has yet to determine whether this anonymous grand juror can speak out publicly.

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Of course, AG Cameron is pushing in court to make sure that this anonymous juror doesn’t violate the sworn secrecy associated with being a part of a grand jury.

Part of the reasoning is that if this person is granted to speak, former police detective Brett Hankinson can kiss goodbye his right to a fair trial since all the evidence against him was brought forth to this very grand jury.

Hankinson was the individual alleged to have engaged in wanton endangerment via the reckless firing of his weapon during the Taylor warrant incident.

And if Hankinson really did get all willy-nilly with his service weapon, he has a solid defense to get the case tossed right out the window if the state’s evidence gets outed outside/before of trial.

According to CNN though, this grand juror is “concerned what was presented to jurors is not being publicly disclosed,” and that they feel the need to share it with the public.

Well, when you have a case that involves someone alleged of criminal culpability, namely Hankinson, a prosecutor likely doesn’t want to let that evidence floating around prematurely before any form of formal discovery transpires.

But attorney Glogower is pushing really hard for this, saying that AG Cameron “completely undid secrecy” around the grand jury proceedings by having a press conference in September to discuss the grand jury findings.

I’m sorry – but what else was the AG supposed to do in a case that sparked national attention?

Just not say anything?

And releasing the findings of a grand jury isn’t compromising the secrecy of the proceedings per se – but simply verbatim transcripts, jurors’ identities, witness identities and so on are what is to remain secret.

Overall, this sounds a lot less like some juror trying to expose the truth – or whatever you want to call it.

This sounds like some juror that is looking for their next CNN appearance, a book deal, speaking gigs…you know, instant fame.

They want to be the juror that sought justice, or something to that effect (all the while, cashing in on some of the sweet, sweet CNN and book rights money).


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