Justice Scalia, delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented in this case is whether a district court may dismiss an otherwise valid indictment because the
On May 4, 1988, respondent John H. Williams, Jr., a Tulsa, Oklahoma, investor, was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of "knowingly mak[ing] [a] false statement or report . . .for the purpose of influencing . . . the action [of a federally insured financial institution]," in violation of 18 U. S. C. § 1014 (1988 ed., Supp. II). According to the indictment, between September 1984 and November 1985 Williams supplied four Oklahoma banks with "materially false" statements that variously overstated the value of his current assets and interest income in order to influence the banks' actions on his loan requests.
Williams' misrepresentation was allegedly effected through two financial statements provided to the banks, a "Market Value Balance Sheet" and a "Statement of Projected Income and Expense." The former included as "current assets" approximately $6 million in notes receivable from three venture capital companies. Though it contained a disclaimer that these assets were carried at cost rather than at market value, the Government asserted that listing them as "current assets"—i. e., assets quickly reducible to cash—was misleading, since Williams knew that none of the venture capital companies could afford to satisfy the notes in the short term. The second document—the Statement of Projected Income and Expense—allegedly misrepresented Williams' interest income, since it failed to reflect that the interest payments received on the notes of the venture capital companies were funded entirely by Williams' own loans to those companies. The Statement thus falsely implied, according to the Government, that Williams was deriving interest income from "an independent outside source." Brief for United States 3.
The District Court initially denied Williams' motion, but upon reconsideration ordered the indictment dismissed without prejudice. It found, after a hearing, that the withheld evidence was "relevant to an essential element of the crime charged," created "`a reasonable doubt about [respondent's] guilt,' " App. to Pet. for Cert. 23a—24a (quoting United States v. Gray, 502 F.Supp. 150, 152 (DC 1980)), and thus "render[ed] the grand jury's decision to indict gravely suspect," App. to Pet. for Cert. 26a. Upon the Government's appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's order, following its earlier decision in Page, supra. It first sustained as not "clearly erroneous" the District Court's determination that the Government had withheld "substantial exculpatory evidence" from the grand jury. See 899 F.2d 898, 900-903 (CA10 1990). It then found that the Government's behavior "`substantially influence[d]' " the grand jury's decision to indict, or at the very least raised a "`grave doubt that the
Before proceeding to the merits of this matter, it is necessary to discuss the propriety of reaching them. Certiorari was sought and granted in this case on the following question: "Whether an indictment may be dismissed because the government failed to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury." The first point discussed in respondent's brief opposing the petition was captioned "The `Question Presented' in the Petition Was Never Raised Below." Brief in Opposition 3. In granting certiorari, we necessarily considered and rejected that contention as a basis for denying review.
Justice Stevens' dissent, however, revisits that issue, and proposes that—after briefing, argument, and full consideration of the issue by all the Justices of this Court—we now decline to entertain this petition for the same reason we originally rejected, and that we dismiss it as improvidently granted. That would be improvident indeed. Our grant of certiorari was entirely in accord with our traditional practice, though even if it were not it would be imprudent (since there is no doubt that we have jurisdiction to entertain the case) to reverse course at this late stage. See, e. g., Ferguson v. Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., 352 U.S. 521, 560 (1957) (Harlan, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part); Donnelly v. DeChristoforo, 416 U.S. 637, 648 (1974) (Stewart,
Our traditional rule, as the dissent correctly notes, precludes a grant of certiorari only when "the question presented was not pressed or passed upon below." Post, at 58 (internal quotation marks omitted). That this rule operates (as it is phrased) in the disjunctive, permitting review of an issue not pressed so long as it has been passed upon, is illustrated by some of our more recent dispositions. As recently as last Term, in fact (in an opinion joined by Justice Stevens), we entertained review in circumstances far more suggestive of the petitioner's "sleeping on its rights" than those we face today. We responded as follows to the argument of the Solicitor General that tracks today's dissent:
And in another case decided last Term, we said the following:
(Justice Stevens' separate concurrence and dissent in Virginia Bankshares also reached the merits. Id., at 1110— 1112.)
There is no doubt in the present case that the Tenth Circuit decided the crucial issue of the prosecutor's duty to present exculpatory evidence.
In short, having reconsidered the precise question we resolved when this petition for review was granted, we again answer it the same way. It is a permissible exercise of our discretion to undertake review of an important issue expressly decided by a federal court
Respondent does not contend that the Fifth Amendment itself obliges the prosecutor to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence in his possession to the grand jury. Instead, building on our statement that the federal courts "may, within limits, formulate procedural rules not specifically required by the Constitution or the Congress," United States v. Hasting, 461 U.S. 499, 505 (1983), he argues that imposition of the Tenth Circuit's disclosure rule is supported by the courts' "supervisory power." We think not. Hasting, and the cases that rely upon the principle it expresses, deal strictly with the courts' power to control their own procedures. See, e. g., Jencks v. United States, 353 U.S. 657, 667—
We did not hold in Bank of Nova Scotia, however, that the courts' supervisory power could be used, not merely as a means of enforcing or vindicating legally compelled standards
"[R]ooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history," Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 490 (1960) (Frankfurter, J., concurring in result), the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It "`is a constitutional fixture in its own right.' " United States v. Chanen, 549 F.2d 1306, 1312 (CA9) (quoting Nixon v. Sirica, 159 U. S. App. D. C. 58, 70, n. 54, 487 F.2d 700, 712, n. 54 (1973)), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 825 (1977). In fact the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people. See Stirone v. United States, 361 U.S. 212, 218 (1960); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 61 (1906); G. Edwards, The Grand Jury 28-32 (1906). Although the grand jury normally operates, of course, in the courthouse and under judicial auspices, its institutional relationship with the Judicial Branch has traditionally been, so to speak, at arm's length. Judges' direct involvement in the functioning of the grand jury has generally been confined to the constitutive one of calling the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of office. See United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974); Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 6(a).
True, the grand jury cannot compel the appearance of witnesses and the production of evidence, and must appeal to the court when such compulsion is required. See, e. g., Brown v. United States, 359 U.S. 41, 49 (1959). And the court will refuse to lend its assistance when the compulsion the grand jury seeks would override rights accorded by the Constitution, see, e. g., Gravel v. United States, 408 U.S. 606 (1972) (grand jury subpoena effectively qualified by order limiting questioning so as to preserve Speech or Debate Clause immunity), or even testimonial privileges recognized by the common law, see In re Grand Jury Investigation of Hugle, 754 F.2d 863 (CA9 1985) (opinion of Kennedy, J.) (same with respect to privilege for confidential marital communications). Even in this setting, however, we have insisted that the grand jury remain "free to pursue its investigations
No doubt in view of the grand jury proceeding's status as other than a constituent element of a "criminal prosecutio[n]," U. S. Const., Amdt. 6, we have said that certain constitutional protections afforded defendants in criminal proceedings have no application before that body. The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not bar a grand jury from returning an indictment when a prior grand jury has refused to do so. See Ex parte United States, 287 U.S. 241, 250-251 (1932); United States v. Thompson, 251 U.S. 407, 413-415 (1920). We have twice suggested, though not held, that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not attach when an individual is summoned to appear before a grand jury, even if he is the subject of the investigation. See United States v. Mandujano, 425 U.S. 564, 581 (1976) (plurality opinion); In re Groban, 352 U.S. 330, 333 (1957); see also Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 6(d). And although "the grand jury may not force a witness to answer questions in violation of [the Fifth Amendment's] constitutional guarantee" against self-incrimination, Calandra, supra, at 346 (citing Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972)), our cases suggest that an indictment obtained through the use of evidence previously obtained in violation of the privilege against self-incrimination "is nevertheless valid." Calandra, supra, at 346; see Lawn v. United States, 355 U.S. 339, 348-350 (1958); United States v. Blue, 384 U.S. 251, 255, n. 3 (1966).
Given the grand jury's operational separateness from its constituting court, it should come as no surprise that we
These authorities suggest that any power federal courts may have to fashion, on their own initiative, rules of grand jury procedure is a very limited one, not remotely comparable to the power they maintain over their own proceedings. See United States v. Chanen, 549 F. 2d, at 1313. It certainly would not permit judicial reshaping of the grand jury institution, substantially altering the traditional relationships between the prosecutor, the constituting court, and the grand jury itself. Cf., e. g., United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 736 (1980) (supervisory power may not be applied to permit defendant to invoke third party's Fourth Amendment rights); see generally Beale, Reconsidering Supervisory Power in Criminal Cases: Constitutional and Statutory Limits on the Authority of the Federal Courts, 84 Colum. L. Rev. 1433, 1490-1494, 1522 (1984). As we proceed to discuss, that would be the consequence of the proposed rule here.
Respondent argues that the Court of Appeals' rule can be justified as a sort of Fifth Amendment "common law," a necessary means of assuring the constitutional right to the judgment "of an independent and informed grand jury," Wood v. Georgia, 370 U.S. 375, 390 (1962). Brief for Respondent 27. Respondent makes a generalized appeal to functional notions: Judicial supervision of the quantity and quality of the evidence relied upon by the grand jury plainly facilitates, he says, the grand jury's performance of its twin historical responsibilities, i. e., bringing to trial those who may be justly accused and shielding the innocent from unfounded accusation and prosecution. See, e. g., Stirone v. United States, 361 U. S., at 218, n. 3. We do not agree. The rule would neither preserve nor enhance the traditional functioning of the institution that the Fifth Amendment demands. To the contrary, requiring the prosecutor to present exculpatory as well as inculpatory evidence would alter the grand jury's historical role, transforming it from an accusatory to an adjudicatory body.
It is axiomatic that the grand jury sits not to determine guilt or innocence, but to assess whether there is adequate basis for bringing a criminal charge. See United States v. Calandra, 414 U. S., at 343. That has always been so; and to make the assessment it has always been thought sufficient to hear only the prosecutor's side. As Blackstone described the prevailing practice in 18th-century England, the grand jury was "only to hear evidence on behalf of the prosecution[,] for the finding of an indictment is only in the nature of an enquiry or accusation, which is afterwards to be tried and determined." 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries 300 (1769); see also 2 M. Hale, Pleas of the Crown 157 (1st Am. ed. 1847). So also in the United States. According to the description of an early American court, three years before the Fifth Amendment was ratified, it is the grand jury's function not "to enquire . . . upon what foundation [the charge
Imposing upon the prosecutor a legal obligation to present exculpatory evidence in his possession would be incompatible with this system. If a "balanced" assessment of the entire matter is the objective, surely the first thing to be done— rather than requiring the prosecutor to say what he knows in defense of the target of the investigation—is to entitle the target to tender his own defense. To require the former while denying (as we do) the latter would be quite absurd. It would also be quite pointless, since it would merely invite the target to circumnavigate the system by delivering his exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor, whereupon it would have to be passed on to the grand jury—unless the prosecutor is willing to take the chance that a court will not deem the evidence important enough to qualify for mandatory disclosure.
Respondent acknowledges (as he must) that the "common law" of the grand jury is not violated if the grand jury itself chooses to hear no more evidence than that which suffices to convince it an indictment is proper. Cf. Thompson, supra, at 607. Thus, had the Government offered to familiarize the grand jury in this case with the five boxes of financial statements and deposition testimony alleged to contain exculpatory information, and had the grand jury rejected the offer as pointless, respondent would presumably agree that the resulting indictment would have been valid. Respondent insists, however, that courts must require the modern prosecutor to alert the grand jury to the nature and extent of the available exculpatory evidence, because otherwise the grand jury "merely functions as an arm of the prosecution." Brief for Respondent 27. We reject the attempt to convert a nonexistent duty of the grand jury itself into an obligation of the prosecutor. The authority of the prosecutor to seek an indictment has long been understood to be "coterminous with the authority of the grand jury to entertain [the prosecutor's] charges." United States v. Thompson, 251 U. S., at 414. If the grand jury has no obligation to consider all "substantial exculpatory" evidence, we do not understand how the prosecutor can be said to have a binding obligation to present it.
There is yet another respect in which respondent's proposal not only fails to comport with, but positively contradicts, the "common law" of the Fifth Amendment grand jury. Motions to quash indictments based upon the sufficiency of the evidence relied upon by the grand jury were unheard of at common law in England, see, e. g., People v. Restenblatt, 1 Abb. Pr. 268, 269 (Ct. Gen. Sess. N. Y. 1855). And the traditional American practice was described by Justice Nelson, riding circuit in 1852, as follows:
We accepted Justice Nelson's description in Costello v. United States, where we held that "[i]t would run counter to the whole history of the grand jury institution" to permit an indictment to be challenged "on the ground that there was inadequate or incompetent evidence before the grand jury." 350 U. S., at 363-364. And we reaffirmed this principle recently in Bank of Nova Scotia, where we held that "the mere fact that evidence itself is unreliable is not sufficient to require a dismissal of the indictment," and that "a challenge to the reliability or competence of the evidence presented to the grand jury" will not be heard. 487 U. S., at 261. It would make little sense, we think, to abstain from reviewing the evidentiary support for the grand jury's judgment while scrutinizing the sufficiency of the prosecutor's presentation. A complaint about the quality or adequacy of the evidence can always be recast as a complaint that the prosecutor's presentation was "incomplete" or "misleading."
* * *
Echoing the reasoning of the Tenth Circuit in United States v. Page, 808 F. 2d, at 728, respondent argues that a rule requiring the prosecutor to disclose exculpatory evidence to the grand jury would, by removing from the docket unjustified prosecutions, save valuable judicial time. That depends, we suppose, upon what the ratio would turn out to be between unjustified prosecutions eliminated and grand jury indictments challenged—for the latter as well as the former consume "valuable judicial time." We need not pursue the matter; if there is an advantage to the proposal, Congress is free to prescribe it. For the reasons set forth above, however, we conclude that courts have no authority to prescribe such a duty pursuant to their inherent supervisory authority over their own proceedings. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly reversed, and the cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Blackmun and Justice O'Connor join, and with whom Justice Thomas joins as to Parts II and III, dissenting.
The Court's opinion announces two important changes in the law. First, it justifies its special accommodation to the Solicitor General in granting certiorari to review a contention that was not advanced in either the District Court or the Court of Appeals by explaining that the fact that the issue was raised in a different case is an adequate substitute for raising it in this case. Second, it concludes that a federal court has no power to enforce the prosecutor's obligation to
The question presented by the certiorari petition is whether the failure to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury is a species of prosecutorial misconduct that may be remedied by dismissing an indictment without prejudice. In the District Court and the Court of Appeals both parties agreed that the answer to that question is "yes, in an appropriate case." The only disagreement was whether this was an appropriate case: The prosecutor vigorously argued that it was not because the undisclosed evidence was not substantial exculpatory evidence, while respondent countered that the evidence was exculpatory and the prosecutor's misconduct warranted a dismissal with prejudice.
In an earlier case arising in the Tenth Circuit, United States v. Page, 808 F.2d 723, cert. denied, 482 U.S. 918 (1987), the defendant had claimed that his indictment should have been dismissed because the prosecutor was guilty of misconduct during the grand jury proceedings. Specifically, he claimed that the prosecutor had allowed the grand jury to consider false testimony and had failed to present it with substantial exculpatory evidence. 808 F. 2d, at 726-727. After noting that there are "two views concerning the duty of a prosecutor to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury," id., at 727, the court concluded that the "better, and more balanced rule" is that "when substantial exculpatory evidence is discovered in the course of an investigation, it must be revealed to the grand jury," id., at 728 (emphasis in original). The court declined to dismiss the indictment, however, because the evidence withheld in that case was not "clearly exculpatory." Ibid.
In this case the Government expressly acknowledged the responsibilities described in Page, but argued that the withheld
After losing in the Court of Appeals, the Government reversed its position and asked this Court to grant certiorari
The Court explains that the settled rule does not apply to the Government's certiorari petition in this case because the Government raised the same question three years earlier in the Page case and the Court of Appeals passed on the issue in that case. Ante, at 44-45. This is a novel, and unwise,
This Court has a special obligation to administer justice impartially and to set an example of impartiality for other courts to emulate. When the Court appears to favor the Government over the ordinary litigant, it seriously compromises its ability to discharge that important duty. For that
Like the Hydra slain by Hercules, prosecutorial misconduct has many heads. Some are cataloged in Justice Sutherland's classic opinion for the Court in Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78 (1935):
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of the kinds of improper tactics that overzealous or misguided prosecutors have adopted in judicial proceedings. The reported cases of this Court alone contain examples of the knowing use of perjured testimony, Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103 (1935), the suppression of evidence favorable to an accused person, Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87-88 (1963), and misstatements of the law in argument to the jury, Caldwell v. Mississippi, 472 U.S. 320, 336 (1985), to name just a few.
Nor has prosecutorial misconduct been limited to judicial proceedings: The reported cases indicate that it has sometimes infected grand jury proceedings as well. The cases contain examples of prosecutors presenting perjured testimony, United States v. Basurto, 497 F.2d 781, 786 (CA9 1974), questioning a witness outside the presence of the grand jury and then failing to inform the grand jury that the testimony was exculpatory, United States v. Phillips Petroleum, Inc., 435 F.Supp. 610, 615-617 (ND Okla. 1977), failing to inform the grand jury of its authority to subpoena witnesses, United States v. Samango, 607 F.2d 877, 884 (CA9 1979), operating under a conflict of interest, United States v. Gold, 470 F.Supp. 1336, 1346-1351 (ND Ill. 1979), misstating the law, United States v. Roberts, 481 F.Supp. 1385, 1389, and n. 10 (CD Cal. 1980),
Justice Sutherland's identification of the basic reason why that sort of misconduct is intolerable merits repetition:
It is equally clear that the prosecutor has the same duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful indictment. Indeed, the prosecutor's duty to protect the fundamental fairness of judicial proceedings assumes special importance when he is presenting evidence to a grand jury. As the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recognized, "the costs of continued unchecked prosecutorial misconduct" before the grand jury are particularly substantial because there
In his dissent in United States v. Ciambrone, 601 F.2d 616 (CA2 1979), Judge Friendly also recognized the prosecutor's special role in grand jury proceedings:
Unquestionably, the plain implication of that discussion is that if the misconduct, even though not expressly forbidden by any written rule, had played a critical role in persuading the jury to return the indictment, dismissal would have been required.
In an opinion that I find difficult to comprehend, the Court today repudiates the assumptions underlying these cases and seems to suggest that the court has no authority to supervise the conduct of the prosecutor in grand jury proceedings so long as he follows the dictates of the Constitution, applicable statutes, and Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Court purports to support this conclusion by invoking the doctrine of separation of powers and citing a string of cases in which we have declined to impose categorical
Although the grand jury has not been "textually assigned" to "any of the branches described in the first three Articles" of the Constitution, ante, at 47, it is not an autonomous body completely beyond the reach of the other branches. Throughout its life, from the moment it is convened until it is discharged, the grand jury is subject to the control of the court. As Judge Learned Hand recognized over 60 years ago, "a jury is neither an officer nor an agent of the United States, but a part of the court." Falter v. United States, 23 F.2d 420, 425 (CA2), cert. denied, 277 U.S. 590 (1928). This Court has similarly characterized the grand jury:
See also Blair v. United States, 250 U.S. 273, 280 (1919) ("At the foundation of our Federal Government the inquisitorial function of the grand jury and the compulsion of witnesses were recognized as incidents of the judicial power of the United States"); United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 346, and n. 4 (1974).
This Court has, of course, long recognized that the grand jury has wide latitude to investigate violations of federal law as it deems appropriate and need not obtain permission from either the court or the prosecutor. See, e. g., id., at 343; Costello v. United States, 350 U.S. 359, 362 (1956); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 65 (1906). Correspondingly, we have acknowledged that "its operation generally is unrestrained
To the contrary, the Court has recognized that it has the authority to create and enforce limited rules applicable in grand jury proceedings. Thus, for example, the Court has said that the grand jury "may not itself violate a valid privilege, whether established by the Constitution, statutes, or the common law." Id., at 346. And the Court may prevent a grand jury from violating such a privilege by quashing or modifying a subpoena, id., at 346, n. 4, or issuing a protective order forbidding questions in violation of the privilege, Gravel v. United States, 408 U.S. 606, 628-629 (1972). Moreover, there are, as the Court notes, ante, at 49, a series of cases in which we declined to impose categorical restraints on the grand jury. In none of those cases, however, did we question our power to reach a contrary result.
Although the Court recognizes that it may invoke its supervisory authority to fashion and enforce privilege rules applicable in grand jury proceedings, ibid., and suggests that
We do not protect the integrity and independence of the grand jury by closing our eyes to the countless forms of prosecutorial misconduct that may occur inside the secrecy of the grand jury room. After all, the grand jury is not merely an investigatory body; it also serves as a "protector of citizens against arbitrary and oppressive governmental action." United States v. Calandra, 414 U. S., at 343. Explaining why the grand jury must be both "independent" and "informed," the Court wrote in Wood v. Georgia, 370 U.S. 375 (1962):
It blinks reality to say that the grand jury can adequately perform this important historic role if it is intentionally misled by the prosecutor—on whose knowledge of the law and facts of the underlying criminal investigation the jurors will, of necessity, rely.
Unlike the Court, I am unwilling to hold that countless forms of prosecutorial misconduct must be tolerated—no matter how prejudicial they may be, or how seriously they may distort the legitimate function of the grand jury—simply because they are not proscribed by Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or a statute that is applicable
What, then, is the proper disposition of this case? I agree with the Government that the prosecutor is not required to place all exculpatory evidence before the grand jury. A grand jury proceeding is an ex parte investigatory proceeding to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a violation of the criminal laws has occurred, not a trial. Requiring the prosecutor to ferret out and present all evidence that could be used at trial to create a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt would be inconsistent with the purpose of the grand jury proceeding and would place significant burdens on the investigation. But that does not mean that the prosecutor may mislead the grand jury into believing that there is probable cause to indict by withholding clear evidence to the contrary. I thus agree with the Department of Justice that "when a prosecutor conducting a grand jury inquiry is personally aware of substantial evidence which directly negates the guilt of a subject of the investigation, the prosecutor must present or otherwise disclose
Although I question whether the evidence withheld in this case directly negates respondent's guilt,
More importantly, because I am so firmly opposed to the Court's favored treatment of the Government as a litigator, I would dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.
The dissent observes that where a court disposes of a case on the basis of a "new rule that had not been debated by the parties, our review may be appropriate to give the losing party an opportunity it would not otherwise have to challenge the rule." Ibid. That is true enough, but the suggestion that this principle has something to do with Stevens and Virginia Bankshares is wholly unfounded: In neither case could—or did—the losing party claim to have been ambushed by the lower court's summary treatment of the undisputed issues which we later subjected to plenary review.
"We have previously held that a prosecutor has the duty to present substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. Although we do not require the prosecutor to `ferret out and present every bit of potentially exculpatory evidence,' we do require that substantial exculpatory evidence discovered during the course of an investigation be revealed to the grand jury. Other courts have also recognized that such a duty exists. This requirement promotes judicial economy because `if a fully informed grand jury cannot find probable cause to indict, there is little chance the prosecution could have proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a fully informed petit jury.' " 899 F.2d 898, 900 (1990) (citations omitted).
This excerpt from the opinion below should make abundantly clear that, contrary to the dissent's mystifying assertion, see post, at 58, and n. 3, we premise our grant of certiorari not upon the Tenth Circuit's having "passed on" the issue in its prior Page decision, but rather upon its having done so in this case. We discuss Page only to point out that, had the Government not disputed the creation of the binding Tenth Circuit precedent in that case, a different exercise of discretion might be appropriate.
"On the other hand, the prosecutor's right to exercise some discretion and selectivity in the presentation of evidence to a grand jury does not entitle him to mislead it or to engage in fundamentally unfair tactics before it. The prosecutor, for instance, may not obtain an indictment on the basis of evidence known to him to be perjurious, United States v. Basurto, 497 F.2d 781, 785-86 (9th Cir. 1974), or by leading it to believe that it has received eyewitness rather than hearsay testimony, United States v. Estepa, 471 F.2d 1132, 1136-37 (2d Cir. 1972). We would add that where a prosecutor is aware of any substantial evidence negating guilt he should, in the interest of justice, make it known to the grand jury, at least where it might reasonably be expected to lead the jury not to indict. See ABA Project on Standards for Criminal Justice—the Prosecution Function, § 3.6, pp. 90-91." 601 F. 2d, at 623.