Should Grand Jury testimony be secret?

Inspired by a radio report from CBS News heard on the way home from work, and augmented by

thread, I have some questions about Grand Juries.

From what I understand of Grand Juries, they’re brought in by a prosecutor for certain crimes to determine the merit of a case and whether or not they have the substance to bring about a trial for a crime. That’s the simplified understanding, please clarify if needed.

Now then, the report stated DeLay’s attorney is trying to question the Grand Jury to get some information on the reason to indict him. (Tom)

The reason for the motion (or whatever it’s called) is to find out the process the prosecutor followed in getting the indictment. I’d mention in 800-point bold text I’m not taking a stance here, but that may not matter. So leave the politics at the door please.

DeLay’s lawyer wants the secret Grand Jury proceedings made public so he can question the process. Seems reasonable, no matter who is being accused, and here’s why.

When someone is facing a serious crime, why shouldn’t the defendant’s lawyer be privvy to the process that got his client to the defendant’s table to begin with? If Grand Jury proceedings are secret, it seems like there is a system in place to set the deck, as it were, to get the trial going. How is a “secret” process, inscrutible to the legal process. (Yes I came up with 18 Gitmo jokes about this, not applicable here)

The only reason I can see for GJ’s being secret is fear of retaliation. Ever hear of the Mob taking care of GJ’s? But the basic idea is still held by me. If you want to bring a serious charge against someone, and you want to follow the law of disclosure, etc., shouldn’t all proceedings related to trying the person be made available to the defense? Going back to the Mob, who’s to say the judge and prosecutor aren’t swaying things to thier side? It seems to me that anything involved with a person’s criminal defense against charges that are brought against him under applicable law and rights, should have a representative at every step of the way.

Long winded, maybe, but I’d still like to know. Why would a GJ proceeding be secret. Also, am I just all wet on my understanding of Grand Juries?

And, of course, I screw up yet another attempt at coding. It seems decipherable, but report it if it would be better for the thread. Thanks

Here is the rationale for grand jury secrecy set forth by the ABA:

To clarify the role of a grand jury:

Again from the ABA:

It is important to note that a grand jury’s role is not to determine guilt, or even likelihood of guilt. Probable cause is a pretty low standard. From Black’s Law Dictionary:

Note “suspect”. The standard is not even “believe”.

Sua