Once a cornerstone of American jurisprudence, the requirement of prosecution based upon grand jury indictment no longer stands unchallenged. Instead, alternate means of commencing prosecution, most notably by information and the preliminary hearing, have prompted lawmakers to look at the grand jury with a heightened scrutiny. Subsequently, such alternatives have become the primary prosecutorial tools in many states. Virginia, however, retains the grand jury system which was implemented in colonial times.
Charles E. Wall,
Grand Jury Reform: A Proposal for Change in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol23/iss2/6