Limiting the Criminal Contempt Power: New Roles for the Prosecutor and the Grand Jury

This article will briefly describe the development and scope of the law of criminal contempt, and then tum to the question of whether the current exercise of the power is consistent with the rationale for its existence. The analysis will suggest not only that the answer to this question in many instances is negative, but also that substantial benefits would result from requiring that criminal contempts be treated as ordinary criminal prosecutions.