Dana Nessel’s Unconstitutional One-Man Grand Jury Dana Nessel’s Unconstitutional One-Man Grand Jury - Michigan Rising Action

Dana Nessel’s Unconstitutional One-Man Grand Jury

Dana Nessel’s Unconstitutional One-Man Grand Jury

May 4, 2022

Lansing, Mich., May 4, 2022 – Today, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Flint Water case, with defendants alleging that a one-man grand jury, used by only a handful of states, violates the constitutional right to due process. The strategy utilized by Attorney General Dana Nessel has come under significant legal scrutiny

Nessel’s decision to utilize a one-man grand jury has led to potential violations of the defendants’ Constitutional rights, The Detroit News writes:

“Nessel’s team used an unusual one-man grand jury to review the evidence and issue charges, and contend that precludes the need for a preliminary examination. 

Without the preliminary examination […] the defendants have no access to the evidence that’s being used against them and can not prepare an adequate defense, as guaranteed by the Constitution.”

The defendants’ appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue of a one-man grand jury comes over three years after Dana Nessel took over the Flint Water case as Attorney General. One-man grand juries are rarely seen in courts across the country and are only utilized when witnesses are reluctant to testify or seek immunity and identity protection for fear of repercussions. There are no legitimate reasons to have used this method in the Flint Water investigation

Nessel’s controversial handling of the case includes:

  • Failure of the Attorney General’s office to use a taint team to review documents for attorney-client privilege.
  • Nessel’s hiring of her former business partner and campaign donor, Chris Kessel to work on the criminal prosecutions.
  • Inappropriate comments on social media. 

“Dana Nessel has failed the people of Flint and the entire state of Michigan with her handling of the Flint Water case,” said Eric Ventimiglia, Executive Director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “The use of a one-man grand jury process is just the latest in a string of questionable decisions by Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team.”

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