Rule 556.10. Secrecy; Disclosure.

 (A)  Secrecy

   (1)  All evidence, including exhibits and all testimony presented to the grand jury, is subject to grand jury secrecy, and no person may disclose any matter occurring before the grand jury, except as provided in paragraph (B).

   (2)  A violation of grand jury secrecy rules may be punished as a contempt of court.

 (B)  Disclosure

 No person may disclose any matter occurring before the grand jury, except as provided below.

   (1)  Attorney for the Commonwealth:

   Upon receipt of the certified transcript of the proceedings before the indicting grand jury, the supervising judge shall furnish a copy of the transcript to the attorney for the Commonwealth for use in the performance of official duties.

   (2)  Defendant in a Criminal Case:

   If a defendant in a criminal case has testified before the indicting grand jury concerning the subject matter of the charges against him or her, upon application of such defendant, the supervising judge shall order that the defendant be furnished with a copy of the transcript of such testimony.

   (3)  Witnesses:

     (a)   A grand jury witness may disclose his or her testimony unless the attorney for the Commonwealth obtains an order from the supervising judge that the interests of justice dictate otherwise.

     (b)   The attorney for the Commonwealth may request that the supervising judge delay the disclosure of a grand jury witness’ testimony, but such delay in disclosure shall not be later than the conclusion of direct testimony of that witness at trial.

   (4)  Other Disclosures:

     (a)   Disclosure of grand jury material or matters, other than the grand jury’s deliberations and the vote of individual jurors, may be made to any law enforcement personnel that an attorney for the Commonwealth considers necessary to assist in the enforcement of the criminal law.

     (b)   Upon motion, and after a hearing into relevancy, the supervising judge may order that a transcript of testimony before an indicting grand jury, or physical evidence before the indicting grand jury, may be released to an investigative agency under such conditions as the supervising judge may impose.

   (5)  Pretrial Discovery:

   Pretrial discovery in cases indicted by a grand jury is subject to Rule 573. Pretrial discovery does not include testimony or other evidence that would disclose the identity of any witness or victim who has been intimidated, is being intimidated, or who is likely to be intimidated. Disclosure of such testimony or other evidence shall be only as ordered by the supervising judge.

 (C)  The supervising judge shall close to the public any hearing relating to grand jury proceedings to the extent necessary to prevent disclosure of a matter occurring before a grand jury. Records, orders, and subpoenas relating to grand jury proceedings shall be kept under seal to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of a matter occurring before a grand jury.

Comment

   The attorney for the Commonwealth has an affirmative duty to provide the defendant with any testimony before the indicting grand jury and any physical evidence presented to the grand jury that is exculpatory to the defendant consistent with the line of cases beginning with Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and the refinements of the Brady standards embodied in subsequent judicial decisions.

   Paragraph (B) establishes the limitations on pretrial discovery in cases in which a defendant has been indicted by a grand jury information. Although the Criminal Rules generally recognize the defendant’s right to have pretrial discovery to be able to prepare his or her case, given the nature of the cases presented to the grand jury, see Rule 556, this rule places with the supervising judge the responsibility of determining when testimony and other evidence that would disclose the identity of any witness or victim who has been intimidated, is being intimidated, or who is likely to be intimidated will be discoverable.

   Paragraph (B)(3)(b) permits the supervising judge to delay the time for the disclosure of a grand jury witness’ testimony upon the request of the attorney for the Commonwealth. Under no circumstances may the extension be later than the completion of the witness’ direct testimony at trial.

   The supervising judge may grant a continuance to enable the defendant to review the grand jury testimony as the interests of justice require.

   Official Note

   New Rule 556.10 adopted June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the new rule published with the Court’s Order at 42 Pa.B. 4153 (July 7, 2012).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 556.10 adopted June 21, 2012, effective in 180 days, 42 Pa.B. 4140.



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