NASCAR fans are on pins and needles awaiting the verdict in the grand jury case against famed driver Tony Stewart. Here’s the skinny on exactly what his trial will entail, according to SBNation:
- The grand jury will consist of 23 members, 16 of whom must be present for all the testimony.
- At least 12 jurors must agree that there is sufficient legal evidence for Stewart to be charged with murder for the death of Kevin Ward, Jr.
- Jurors will be allowed to ask questions of witnesses to Ward’s death.
- Stewart is not required to attend the proceedings.
- Stewart will not be ruled guilty or innocent as a result of these proceedings.
- It is up to Stewart whether or not he testifies in front of the grand jury.
- The defense will not be allowed to cross-examine witnesses.
- Grand jury proceedings are confidential, thus the public will not know the specifics of what transpires.
(Read More: Tony Stewart’s Situation Takes a Turn for the Better)
Meri Van Blarcom-Gupko, an attorney specializing in motorsports-related legal issues, explained the grand jury proceedings in more detail:
“The grand jury determines if formal charges should be issued against a person based on the evidence presented and legal instructions given. The grand jury can ask the D.A. questions about the law and can also ask witnesses questions. The witness questions are filtered through the D.A., who determines if the questions are relevant and legally proper and asks them only if they are both.”
Stewart’s grand jury trial will conclude with one of three possible outcomes. Blarcom-Gupko explained:
“First, the grand jury could determine that there is ‘No True Bill,’ which means no basis to proceed with charges against Stewart and dismiss the case. Second, they can determine that the evidence warrants the filing of felony criminal charges, which would be done through a formal indictment also referred to as a bill (short for bill of indictment). Finally, the grand jury could determine only misdemeanor (no felony) charges are warranted and return it to the lower court to be addressed.”
What do you think the grand jury will decide in the case against Tony Stewart? Give us your take in the comments section!