...One of the first stipulations in the New York State grand-juror’s handbook is secrecy, the violation of which is a Class E felony punishable with imprisonment. That section reads, in part:
The purposes of grand jury secrecy are to obtain the full cooperation of the witnesses who appear before the grand jury, to permit grand jurors to make decisions free from outside interference, and to protect an innocent person who may be investigated but never indicted.For that reason, I won’t reveal the names of the people involved in the crimes I will discuss, and I’ll change the names of my fellow jurors.
Because of the secrecy requirement, those who haven’t served on a grand jury have little idea of the closed circuits of that cramped, wood-paneled room.
But if the actions of jurors like me can bring thousands of people into the streets to protest, it seems worth risking a felony charge to describe the arguments and expectations of the chamber.