New law likely to change how prosecutors seek indictments

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — A new Oregon state law that requires grand jury proceedings to be recorded will likely alter how some local prosecutors seek many felony indictments.

The Daily Astorian reports he law will take effect in July after it was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown last year. While prosecutors typically seek secretive grand jury indictments in felony cases, many have said preliminary hearings, which are open to the public, will become more common.

During grand jury hearings, a prosecutor calls witnesses to testify in front of seven jurors. They testify under oath, but a defense attorney is not present and witnesses are not subject to cross-examination. If five of the jurors find probable cause the case moves forward with an indictment.