Oregon Senate approves recording grand jury proceedings

Medford, Ore. – A bill that would require grand jury proceedings in Jackson County to be recorded has passed the Oregon Senate.

Senate Bill 505 also requires audio recordings in Deschutes and Multnomah Counties beginning next month. The rest of the state would later follow.

Prosecutors use grand juries to determine if criminal charges should be brought against a defendant.

In Oregon, grand jury proceedings are kept private, with the only record being hand-written notes taken by a selected jury member.

All other states record audio of grand jury proceedings, except Louisiana.

While the bill includes language to protect victims, OPB reports some legislators were worried about protecting the identities of victims. However, the bill still passed in a 21-7 vote.

SB 505 will head to the Oregon House for a vote.

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