To the editor:
Public-petitioned grand juries are the new witch hunts. The LIFE coalition and Operation Rescue want to call a grand jury to investigate Planned Parenthood. Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, was quoted in an Associated Press story in Thursday's Journal-World stating, "There's too much controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood ..."
Who's creating this "controversy"? Tim Golba, spokesman for LIFE, said the group was not accusing Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. Then why do we need a grand jury? Clearly, the goal is to create a controversy and harass Planned Parenthood.
If your goal is to harass, grand juries are a great tool. People called to testify are not entitled to legal defense. Grand juries need not reach a unanimous decision and do not have to establish a crime was committed "beyond a reasonable doubt" to bring an indictment. The target of a grand jury investigation is thus at the mercy of the jury, is likely to suffer great expense, and may end up in court with further legal expenses to defend against baseless charges. What fun!
In 1692 and 1693, 100 people were arrested for witchcraft, 29 were found guilty, and 19 (14 women and five men) were hanged in the towns of Salem, Ipswich, Boston and Andover. Now some folks just call for a grand jury. Maybe what we need is a petition to call a grand jury to investigate LIFE and Operation Rescue for harassment and defamation. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.