Criminal justice in the United States is administered in a series of stages, ranging from the arrest stage at the beginning, to the parole stage at the end. A person accused of crime is processed by being passed from one stage to another. At any stage the accused person may be screened out of the system altogether, or he may be passed along to the next stage for further processing. For example, at the trial stage the accused is either acquitted (screened out of the system) or he is convicted, and bound over for sentencing (passed along to the next stage for further processing). In most jurisdictions the grand jury is one of these stages in felony cases.' Historically, the grand jury performed a number of functions, but its essential purpose now is to indict or no-bill an accused. Therefore, from the standpoint of both the accused and the community the grand jury stage is quite significant, because it is the gateway to the heart of the criminal justice system-the trial and sentencing stages. To some extent, then, this paper will argue for a change in the present state of the law. The argument will be presented in three parts. First, the doctrine of right to counsel as a whole will be reviewed with particular emphasis given those cases calling for counsel at various "critical stages" in the criminal justice process. The next part of the paper will examine the nature of grand jury proceedings from the standpoint of what, if any, aspects of those proceedings are similar to other stages that have previously been declared critical. The third part of the paper will evaluate and analyze some of the case law dealing specifically with the question of right to counsel at the grand jury stage.

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