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Grand Jury Not Empowered to Do Maverick Report

August 08, 1993

* The Times editorial "Calm Down and Think Clearly" (July 30) misconceives the problem of the grand jury report.

The editorial states that the grand jury is "competition in the marketplace of ideas that helps puncture myths."

Precisely.

But no one argues with the right of each member of the grand jury, in his or her individual capacity, to express personal beliefs about immigration or to petition Congress about it.

The grand jury as a body, however, does not compete in the marketplace of ideas.

Indeed, it has an enormous step up over the rest of the citizenry in that marketplace, and it may not use its position, or public money and resources, for addressing matters it has no authority to investigate or report on, particularly one that by the U.S. Constitution and laws has been restricted to the federal government.

Reporting or pontificating on matters one has neither the power nor the means to investigate is no way to puncture myths.

It only helps to perpetuate them.

IRYNE BLACK

Newport Beach

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