From the Los Angeles Times: Rosa Brooks’ Dec. 11 column described Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich as “newly indicted.” He has only been charged in a federal corruption case.
Posted in: Media Criticism.
Brooks incorrectly wrote that Blagojevich was “indicted.” He has not (yet) been indicted. Rather, he was charged by complaint. Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, prosecutors cannot bring a defendant to trial on a mere complaint. Rather, there must first be either a preliminary hearing or an indictment by a grand jury. Prosecutors have stated that a grand jury is currently meeting and will likely issue an indictment. More here:
It means just what it says: Rosa Brooks described Blagojevich as “indicted” when he has only been “charged.” Only grand juries can issue indictments while prosecuting attorneys can lay charges.
Federal prosecutors had 30 days to bring an indictment after the criminal complaint was filed in December – but a Judge extended that deadline for three months. It could be March before Blagojevich is actually indicted.
“Federal prosecutors have been granted an extra three months to seek an indictment of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.”
I am not a lawyer, but I think “charged” == you’re formally accused of X, and “indictment” == formal document with initial evidence you did X.
Generally charges are presented with an indictment, but I think the point is in this case is the two got separated due to the way the arrest had to be done immediately.
Again, this is not legal advice.
Thanks — I wasn’t clear on this.
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