Summary: S.3274 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3274. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (04/08/1976)

Grand Jury Reform Act - Authorizes a U.S. district court, whenever a witness in any proceeding before a U.S. grand jury or district court refuses without just cause to comply with an order of the court to testify or provide other information, to confine such witness. Prohibits confinement of a recalcitrant witness for a subsequent refusal to testify concerning the same transaction or event.

Directs the Government attorney to apply to the court for an order granting the witness immunity in any proceeding before a U.S. court or grand jury where: (1) the testimony of a witness or the production of evidence by a witness is necessary to the United States; (2) the witness consents; and (3) the Attorney General approves the application.

Allows the court to order a witness to testify or produce other evidence even though the witness claims that such testimony or evidence may be incriminating. Declares that testimony given or evidence produced under such grant of immunity may not be used as evidence against such witness in any court and may not subject such witness to any consequent penalty or forfeiture.

Requires district courts to give adequate and reasonable notice to a grand jury of its rights and duties, including: (1) its duty to inquire into offenses under U.S. criminal laws alleged to have been committed within the judicial district; (2) its authority to make independent inquiries; (3) its right to call and interrogate witnesses; (4) its right to request production of documents; and (5) such other rights and duties as the court deems advisable. Declares that failure to instruct a grand jury as directed constitutes just cause for a witness's refusal to testify or provide other information and entitles any person indicted by such grand jury to a dismissal of the indictment.

Stipulates that the grand jury shall serve for a term of 12 months with specified exceptions.

Authorizes, in the event that the Government attorney refuses to assist or hinders a grand jury inquiry, the appointment by the court of a special attorney to assist the grand jury if it so requests. Grants such special attorney the exclusive authority to assist the grand jury in the conduct of an independent investigation and to sign any indictment returned by the grand jury in such investigation.

Requires that any subpena summoning a witness to appear before a grand jury advise the witness of: (1) the right to counsel; (2) the privilege against self-incrimination; (3) whether the witness's own conduct is under investigation by the grand jury; (4) the subject matter of the grand jury investigation and the substantive criminal statute, violation of which is under consideration by the grand jury; and (5) other rights and privileges which the court deems necessary and appropriate.

Accords grand jury witnesses the right to examine and copy a transcript of the record for the period of such witness's appearance before the grand jury. Gives a grand jury witness the right, prior to testifying, to examine and copy any statement in the possession of the United States which such witness has made relating to the subject matter under inquiry.

Excuses a witness subpenaed to testify or to produce evidence from doing so where: (1) the primary purpose or effect would be to secure information regarding the activities of a person already under indictment; (2) compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive; (3) a primary purpose of the subpena is to harass the witness; (4) the witness has already been confined for refusal to testify before any grand jury investigating the same transaction or event; or (5) the witness has not been advised of the rights accorded such witness under this Act.

Permits the district court before which the grand jury was legally impaneled to dismiss any indictment where the evidence violates specified requirements of legal sufficiency, competence and admissability, and inclusion of all exculpatory evidence in the Government's possession.

Stipulates that a witness may not refuse to testify before a Federal agency or Congress, after a grant of immunity, on the ground that such testimony may be incriminating. Prohibits the use of information compelled under order, after such privilege is claimed, in any criminal case except a prosecution for perjury.

Requires the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General to report annually to Congress and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on specified matters relating to grand jury investigations. (Amends 18 U.S.C. 2514, 6001, 28 U.S.C. 1826; Adds 18 U.S.C. 403, 3328, 3330, 6006)