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State attorney creates Grand Jury Indictment Review Panel

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – State Attorney Melissa Nelson has created a nine-member Grand Jury Indictment Review Panel that will act as in a fact-finding capacity as it reviews cases in which the death penalty might be sought.

The panel will not make recommendations in individual cases.

The goal of the process is to allow proper consideration of the facts of each case and the relevant law.

“Arbitrary or legally impermissible factors, like a defendant’s race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion, will play no role in the decision to see or wave the death penalty," reads the Homicide Policies and Procedures for the State Attorney's Office, Fourth Judicial Circuit.

READ: Homicide Policies and Procedures

Another consideration will be the recommendation of the victim’s family, and prosecutors will be asked to consult with the family to get their input, unless extenuating circumstances exist.

The final decision whether to seek or waive the death penalty will be made by Nelson.