DeSantis's Grand Jury has been approved. Now what? 

DeSantis’s Grand Jury has been approved. Now what? 

Excerpt: The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a statewide grand jury with a broad mandate to investigate school safety.

The panel also will investigate if school districts or other agencies fraudulently accepted state school safety money, then failed to act, and whether school officials illegally under-reported criminal incidents to the state.

The court acted in response to a Feb. 13 request from Gov. Ron DeSantis, who asked for the grand jury the day before the one-year anniversary of the massacre.

The court’s seven justices unanimously ordered the grand jury, including the three justices appointed by DeSantis in the weeks after he took office in January.

Bottom Line: So,what happens now? Here’s what we know... There will be 18 members of the grand jury. Broward Chief Judge Jack Tutor from the 17th Circuit court in Broward, a Jeb Bush appointee,who’s twice been re-elected will chair the grand jury. All members will be from the tri-county area and the grand jury will have a year with which to investigate. As for what we can expect...

The grand jury operates as a completely independent entity within the state. It has the ability to subpoena and to indict. For those seeking details along the way – don't expect any. The grand jury will operate in secret aside from and indictment(s) that may be issued. And what’s the likely outcome here? 

We won’t know until we get there. 18 members is a large number of jurors for a state investigation. Previous grand jury shave included 12 jurors in Florida. By going fora large number of jurors, all from South Florida, presided over by a Chief Justice in Broward – it looks like the governor wants to get as much information processed as efficiently as possible rather than having the process drag on any longer than needed. 

As a reminder Governor DeSantis was a decorated JAG officer himself, so he’d have his own ideas from his own legal experience about the most efficient way to get from here to there. Given the extensive investigations, most notably the FDLE investigation, that took place after Stoneman Douglas, one might imagine that the grand jury will have an excellent road map to work with as they begin their work. Some have wondered why Governor DeSantis hasn’t taken additional action against the Broward School Board and/or Superintendent Runice. Maybe that is all part of the bigger picture...

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