Federal grand juries are composed of between 16 and 23 individuals. Sixteen is the minimumand 23 is the maximum number that can constitute a federal grand jury. The size of the federalgrand jury is set by Rule 6(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Quorum of jurors needed to conduct business
The quorum is the minimum number of jurors that need to be present for a grand jury to beable to conduct business, such as considering whether charges should be brought against someoneor investigating criminal activity. No statute or court rule defines the quorum for federal granduries, but federal courts have inferred that at least 16 jurors must be present for a grand jury toconvene and conduct business. The number 16 comes from Rule 6(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which says that a federal grand jury must consists of between 16 and 23urors. If less than 16 jurors appear, the grand jury cannot convene.
Alternate and replacement grand jurors
Under Rule 6(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a federal court can, but doesnot have to, choose alternate grand jurors when it impanels a federal grand jury. If a judge haschosen one or more alternates, they replace jurors who are excused (usually for illness or otherconditions constituting a hardship). If a court has not chosen alternates, it can replace excusedgrand jurors by simply choosing other individuals to serve.
Grand jury officers
Under Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of CriminalProcedure, a federal court must appoint both aforeperson and a deputy foreperson when itimpanels a grand jury. The foreperson or, in herabsence, the deputy foreperson administers oaths towitnesses who testify before the grand jury andpresides over the grand jury's sessions, ensuring thata quorum is present and handling otheradministrative matters. In this photograph of a grandury in session, you can see the foreperson at the farright.The deputy foreperson is thewoman at the far left (in the greenblouse) in this picture.