McDonough said he was pleased with the court's decision. "We look forward to reviewing the validity of the second indictment and proving Mr. Kenerly's innocence," the attorney said.
McDonough has likened special grand juries to investigative bodies like the police, GBI or FBI, agencies that do not have the right to indict their own cases, either.
Porter disagrees. He thinks that special grand juries will be weakened if stripped of the power to indict.
"It certainly removes a very potent tool in investigating corruption," Porter said.
The purpose of empaneling a special grand jury is to allow a group of citizens to focus on one issue with no time limit, unlike regular grand juries, which hear hundreds of cases during a six-month term.
Kenerly's indictment stemmed from a special grand jury's 10-month investigation into the county's park land purchases. The investigation began after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a series of articles questioning some of the deals.
The special grand jurors concluded commissioners paid millions of dollars too much for parcels of land in several deals that benefited friends and political allies.