56° Good Morning
56° Good Morning

Letter: Grand jury secrecy a vital protection

Protesters who marched earlier face off with NYPD

Protesters who marched earlier face off with NYPD officers near One Police Plaza, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, as they protest in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict a city police officer in the death of 43-year-old Staten Island resident Eric Garner, who lost consciousness during an attempted arrest this past July. Credit: Craig Ruttle

I read your editorial concerning the advisability of breaching the confidentiality of the grand jury process ["Trust vital to justice system," March 23].

I recently had the privilege of serving as the foreman on a grand jury. How each member voted, to indict or to dismiss the charges, was held in the strictest confidence. That encouraged my fellow jurors and me to vote based on the evidence, not on fear of reprisals by pressure groups or the prevailing opinion of the media.

If grand jury secrecy is compromised, I fear that eventually even the jurors' names would be public. Evidence would begin to take a back seat to mob rule and media hype.

Gerald Fortsch, Smithtown