2009 California Penal Code - Section 939-939.91 :: Article 4. Conduct Of Investigations

SECTION 939-939.91

939.  No person other than those specified in Article 3 (commencing
with Section 934), and in Sections 939.1, 939.11, and 939.21, and the
officer having custody of a prisoner witness while the prisoner is
testifying, is permitted to be present during the criminal sessions
of the grand jury except the members and witnesses actually under
examination. Members of the grand jury who have been excused pursuant
to Section 939.5 shall not be present during any part of these
proceedings. No persons other than grand jurors shall be permitted to
be present during the expression of the opinions of the grand
jurors, or the giving of their votes, on any criminal or civil matter
before them.

939.1.  The grand jury acting through its foreman and the attorney
general or the district attorney may make a joint written request for
public sessions of the grand jury. The request shall be filed with
the superior court. If the court, or the judge thereof, finds that
the subject matter of the investigation affects the general public
welfare, involving the alleged corruption, misfeasance, or
malfeasance in office or dereliction of duty of public officials or
employees or of any person allegedly acting in conjunction or
conspiracy with such officials or employees in such alleged acts, the
court or judge may make an order directing the grand jury to conduct
its investigation in a session or sessions open to the public. The
order shall state the finding of the court. The grand jury shall
comply with the order.
   The conduct of such investigation and the examination of witnesses
shall be by the members of the grand jury and the district attorney.
   The deliberation of the grand jury and its voting upon such
investigation shall be in private session. The grand jury may find
indictments based wholly or partially upon the evidence introduced at
such public session.

939.11.  Any member of the grand jury who has a hearing, sight, or
speech disability may request an interpreter when his or her services
are necessary to assist the juror to carry out his or her duties.
The request shall be filed with the superior court. If the court, or
the judge thereof, finds that an interpreter is necessary, the court
shall make an order to that effect and may require by subpoena the
attendance of any person before the grand jury as interpreter. If the
services of an interpreter are necessary, the court shall instruct
the grand jury and the interpreter that the interpreter is not to
participate in the jury's deliberations in any manner except to
facilitate communication between the disabled juror and the other
jurors. The court shall place the interpreter under oath not to
disclose any grand jury matters, including the testimony of any
witness, statements of any grand juror, or the vote of any grand
juror, except in the due course of judicial proceedings.

939.2.  A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness before the
grand jury may be signed and issued by the district attorney, his
investigator or, upon request of the grand jury, by any judge of the
superior court, for witnesses in the state, in support of the
prosecution, for those witnesses whose testimony, in his opinion is
material in an investigation before the grand jury, and for such
other witnesses as the grand jury, upon an investigation pending
before them, may direct.

939.21.  (a) Any prosecution witness before the grand jury in a
proceeding involving a violation of Section 243.4, 261, 273a, 273d,
285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, or 289, subdivision (1) of Section 314,
Section 368, 647.6, or former Section 647a, who is a minor or a
dependent person, may, at the discretion of the prosecution, select a
person of his or her own choice to attend the testimony of the
prosecution witness for the purpose of providing support. The person
chosen shall not be a witness in the same proceeding, or a person
described in Section 1070 of the Evidence Code.
   (b) The grand jury foreperson shall inform any person permitted to
attend the grand jury proceedings pursuant to this section that
grand jury proceedings are confidential and may not be discussed with
anyone not in attendance at the proceedings. The foreperson also
shall admonish that person not to prompt, sway, or influence the
witness in any way. Nothing in this section shall preclude the
presiding judge from exercising his or her discretion to remove a
person from the grand jury proceeding whom the judge believes is
prompting, swaying, or influencing the witness.

939.3.  In any investigation or proceeding before a grand jury for
any felony offense when a person refuses to answer a question or
produce evidence of any other kind on the ground that he may be
incriminated thereby, proceedings may be had under Section 1324.

939.4.  The foreman may administer an oath to any witness appearing
before the grand jury.

939.5.  Before considering a charge against any person, the foreman
of the grand jury shall state to those present the matter to be
considered and the person to be charged with an offense in connection
therewith. He shall direct any member of the grand jury who has a
state of mind in reference to the case or to either party which will
prevent him from acting impartially and without prejudice to the
substantial rights of the party to retire. Any violation of this
section by the foreman or any member of the grand jury is punishable
by the court as a contempt.

939.6.  (a) Subject to subdivision (b), in the investigation of a
charge, the grand jury shall receive no other evidence than what is:
   (1) Given by witnesses produced and sworn before the grand jury;
   (2) Furnished by writings, material objects, or other things
presented to the senses; or
   (3) Contained in a deposition that is admissible under subdivision
3 of Section 686.
   (b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), the grand jury shall
not receive any evidence except that which would be admissible over
objection at the trial of a criminal action, but the fact that
evidence that would have been excluded at trial was received by the
grand jury does not render the indictment void where sufficient
competent evidence to support the indictment was received by the
grand jury.
   (c) Notwithstanding Section 1200 of the Evidence Code, as to the
evidence relating to the foundation for admissibility into evidence
of documents, exhibits, records, and other items of physical
evidence, the evidence to support the indictment may be based in
whole or in part upon the sworn testimony of a law enforcement
officer relating the statement of a declarant made out of court and
offered for the truth of the matter asserted. Any law enforcement
officer testifying as to a hearsay statement pursuant to this
subdivision shall have either five years of law enforcement
experience or have completed a training course certified by the
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training that includes
training in the investigation and reporting of cases and testifying
at preliminary hearings.

939.7.  The grand jury is not required to hear evidence for the
defendant, but it shall weigh all the evidence submitted to it, and
when it has reason to believe that other evidence within its reach
will explain away the charge, it shall order the evidence to be
produced, and for that purpose may require the district attorney to
issue process for the witnesses.

939.71.  (a) If the prosecutor is aware of exculpatory evidence, the
prosecutor shall inform the grand jury of its nature and existence.
Once the prosecutor has informed the grand jury of exculpatory
evidence pursuant to this section, the prosecutor shall inform the
grand jury of its duties under Section 939.7. If a failure to comply
with the provisions of this section results in substantial prejudice,
it shall be grounds for dismissal of the portion of the indictment
related to that evidence.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature by enacting this section
to codify the holding in Johnson v. Superior Court, 15 Cal. 3d 248,
and to affirm the duties of the grand jury pursuant to Section 939.7.

939.8.  The grand jury shall find an indictment when all the
evidence before it, taken together, if unexplained or uncontradicted,
would, in its judgment, warrant a conviction by a trial jury.

939.9.  A grand jury shall make no report, declaration, or
recommendation on any matter except on the basis of its own
investigation of the matter made by such grand jury. A grand jury
shall not adopt as its own the recommendation of another grand jury
unless the grand jury adopting such recommendation does so after its
own investigation of the matter as to which the recommendation is
made, as required by this section.

939.91.  (a) A grand jury which investigates a charge against a
person, and as a result thereof cannot find an indictment against
such person, shall, at the request of such person and upon the
approval of the court which impaneled the grand jury, report or
declare that a charge against such person was investigated and that
the grand jury could not as a result of the evidence presented find
an indictment. The report or declaration shall be issued upon
completion of the investigation of the suspected criminal conduct, or
series of related suspected criminal conduct, and in no event beyond
the end of the grand jury's term.
   (b) A grand jury shall, at the request of the person called and
upon the approval of the court which impaneled the grand jury, report
or declare that any person called before the grand jury for a
purpose, other than to investigate a charge against such person, was
called only as a witness to an investigation which did not involve a
charge against such person. The report or declaration shall be issued
upon completion of the investigation of the suspected criminal
conduct, or series of related suspected criminal conduct, and in no
event beyond the end of the grand jury's term.

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