So, too, in Commonwealth v. Woodward, 157 Mass. 516, 518, 32 N.E. 939, 940, the Court remarked:
'It is always considered that, in finding indictments, grand jurors may act upon their own knowledge, or upon the knowledge of one or more of their number. It is accordingly held in most jurisdictions that it is no objection to the validity of an indictment that one or more of the grand jurors, who were otherwise qualified, had formed or expressed an opinion of the guilt of the accused.'
The same opinion was advanced in Sheppard v. State, 243 Ala. 498, 500, 10 So.2d 822, 823:
'The general and widely prevailing rule is that, in the absence of statute, bias or prejudice on the part of a grand juror furnishes no ground of attack on the indictment.'
In People v. Looney, 314 Ill. 150, 155, 145 N.E. 365, 367, the Court said:
'A grand jury is an accusatory body. It does not try persons charged with crime. It only investigates, and, if sufficient criminating evidence is presented makes accusation, which is an indictment. So it is not a ground of challenge of a grand juror that he has formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of a prisoner.'
Government employees are qualified to serve on both grand juries and petit juries.
The fact that criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the United States is not regarded as creating an implied bias on the part of employees of the United States against the accused. The contention that a grand juror might be afraid that a vote against returning an indictment on a charge of contempt of Congress, might jeopardize his future, borders on the fantastic. By the same token, the intimation that the Government may exert reprisals against a grand juror who voted against an indictment is equally unworthy and untenable. These bare, farfetched assertions are not supported by any fact whatsoever. They obviously do not warrant the institution of an investigation.
The pungent observations made by Mr. Justice Minton in Dennis v. United States, 339 U.S. 162, 172, 70 S. Ct. 519, 523, 94 L. Ed. 734, are exceedingly pertinent to this discussion:
'Vague conjecture does not convince that Government employees are so intimidated that they cringe before their Government in fear of investigation and loss of employment if they do their duty as jurors, which duty this same Government has imposed upon them.'
There is another circumstance to be considered. To investigate a grand juror who happens to be a Government employee in order to determine whether he might have had a dread of adverse consequences if he voted to ignore the charge, may, in itself, be a form of intimidation against voting in favor of an indictment in any similar case in the future. In other words, in seeking to prevent the exercise of pressure, the defendant, unwittingly perhaps, would exert a subtle form of influence in reverse to discourage the return of an indictment. Jurors must be free from any such harassment and annoyance. No juror should be placed in a position of having to fear that a vote cast by him might subject him to an investigation. Any othercourse would defeat the fundamental philosophy of the jury system.
The motion to dismiss the indictment, or in the alternative for a preliminary hearing at which proof may be offered, is denied.