A full-blown grand jury investigation has started meeting to decide what charges are going to be filed against Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III if any. The Grand Jury has met and heard from witnesses for weeks now.

Haslam continues to say he did nothing wrong. Now it is up to a grand jury to decide if they think there is enough evidence to bring serious charges against Haslam. 5 people who worked for Pilot FLying J have already plead guilty to charges of fraud.

It is expected that these people, former employees of Jimmy Haslam III are testifying in front of the grand jury. Many reports have stated that not only did Jimmy Haslam III know about what was taking place at Pilot Flying J, he gave the scam his blessing.

It is difficult to predict how long it will take for the grand Jury to bring charges against Haslam. I expect the charges to come about the same time the Cleveland Browns kick off their preseason. If that happens, the fate of the Browns would be unknown.

The NFL could step in and force a sale of the team or they could take the team over and run it until they find a buyer. Either way with the start of training camp just around the corner and preseason soon after that, you can bank on the fact that this will be a distraction for the football team.

It is the last thing the team or the fans need.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. arc

    A grand jury is a group of people that are selected and sworn in by a court, just like jurors that are chosen to serve on a trial jury (such as the jury in the O.J. Simpson criminal case or in the Louise Woodward (“au pair”) murder case). In fact, the grand jurors are usually chosen from the same pool of people that provide trial jurors: A judge selects and swears in a grand jury, just like judges select and swear in trial juries. But grand juries differ from trial juries in several ways.

    Lady Justice.jpg (28459 bytes) For one thing, grand juries may sit for longer. In the federal system, a grand jury can sit for up to 36 months, although it doesn’t have to sit that long. The court that swears in a new grand jury can extend its term in 6-month increments, for a total of 36 months, but a federal grand jury may only sit for 18 months or so. State grand juries sit for varying terms: Depending on the state, a particular grand jury may sit for a month, six months, or even a year.

    Unlike trial jurors, though, grand jurors don’t convene every day. By the summer of 1998, for example, the D.C. grand jury that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was using to investigate the alleged relationship between President Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was sitting two days a week. And even that is unusual; many federal grand juries sit only one day a week, and some may only sit twice a month. State practice varies, but a state grand jury might sit twice a month, or even only once a month. Sometimes, the grand jury doesn’t convene unless a prosecutor asks it to, because the prosecutor has cases he or she wants the grand jury to hear.

    Unlike trial juries, grand juries don’t decide if someone is guilty of criminal charges that have been brought against them. Grand juries listen to evidence and decide if someone SHOULD be charged with a crime. In the O.J. Simpson case, the prosecutors were going to ask a grand jury to charge Simpson with murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but the defense attorneys persuaded the court that the grand jurors had heard too much about the case to be able to make an impartial decision. That is, the defense attorneys filed a motion saying the grand jurors were too prejudiced by what they had seen on television and read in the papers to be able to review the evidence against Mr. Simpson impartially, the way a trial juror should. The judge agreed with the defense attorneys, which is very unusual. Normally, defense attorneys fail when they try to claim that a grand jury is biased. Courts reject these claims on the theory that all the grand jury does is bring charges, so even if a grand jury is biased, the person they charge can still prove their innocence at trial.

  2. William Ward

    He looks guilty in the news, but in the back of my mind there is am old childhood memory of “Innocent until proven guilty”. So taking the team before a trial verdict or plee would be a freedom lost.


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