The Arizona Republic provides something you almost never see, the grand jury transcripts (links to the pdf of the original documents are at the link) from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and (former Maricopa County Attorney) Andrew Thosmas' tragi-comic attempt to have their political enemies indicted. If you check the Bad Lawyer index you will see that Sheriff Joe and and his Boy Andy's machinations have been a special obsession of mine and the Bad Laywer blawg.
Anyone who cares about the law should care about this story--and with this report you see the smoking guns which were released by the interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley. Romley formerly served in the position and came in after the disastrous tenure of Thomas who now thinks Arizonans should elect him Attorney General. You can watch Romley's press conference at the link.
The story represents for me the sort of wholesale abuse of local power. This sort of thing happens in many places around the country but usually beneath the surface. But not in Maricopa County where Sheriff Joe and Boy Andy operated a full reign of terror. They trammeled the rights of criminal defendants, immigrants, the poor, their political opponents, lawyers, Judges, and other elected officials. The Maricopa grand jury transcripts which are linked to the story are amazing documents. The final transcript in particular conclude with grand jurors "refusing" to act any further.
These original documents provide a rarely seen window on how it is that prosecutors can "indict a ham sandwich."
If you are at all interested in how folks get "indicted" and how little "indictment" bears on guilt in some situations, here's your proof. You will rarely see anything like this. Don't miss this story. The Arizona Republic and the Phoenix New Times deserve Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of this story.