Senator Doug Overbey should support Grand Jury Reform

My letter to the editor was published today.  Click here to read more on the subject of Grand Jury reform.  Earlier this year, a local activist was dismissed from jury duty, demonstrating the need for judicial reform.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/Your_Voice/story/Grand-jury-reform-is-advocated-id-046998

http://www.bcpublicrecord.com/?cat=10

http://www.bcpublicrecord.com/?p=4686

From Jon Roland:

The following are the standards that a grand jury system must satisfy to comply with the original understanding of that term used in the U.S. Constitution:

  1. Selected at random from the general public, with perhaps some filtering, but without “stacking”.
  2. Selection by a neutral party (not the judge or prosecutor).
  3. Size of 23.
  4. Decision by 12.
  5. Election of foreperson by the members.
  6. Term of service long enough to learn how to do it.
  7. Limits on terms of service to avoid entrenchment.
  8. Adequate training of grand jurors.
  9. Prevention of undue influence by interested parties, especially judge or prosecutors.
  10. Secrecy of grand jury deliberations, while they are going on, but with allowance of disclosures in their presentments.
  11. Enough time to examine each case, or enough grand juries.
  12. No impediment to access by public to members to present complaints or give testimony, except for reasonable scheduling.
  13. Acceptance of any person, not just a professional prosecutor, being appointed to prosecute a case by the grand jury granting him an indictment.
  14. Acceptance that a grand jury indictment removes official immunity from criminal prosecution.
  15. Acceptance that a grand jury finding of sufficient evidence of misconduct removes official immunity from civil prosecution.
  16. Establishment of rule that a grand jury must determine whether a court has jurisdiction before returning an indictment for that court.
  17. Avoidance of excessive or abusive use of grand jury to harass, intimidate, discredit, or injure persons.
  18. Prevention of misuse during trials of evidence obtained by grand jury.

See http://grand-jury.org

-- 

----------------------------------------------------------
Constitution Society               http://constitution.org
2900 W Anderson Ln C-200-322           twitter.com/lex_rex
Austin, TX 78757 512/299-5001  jon.roland@constitution.org
----------------------------------------------------------

One thought on “Senator Doug Overbey should support Grand Jury Reform

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>