Act Now: Bring Texas Grand Juries into the 21st century!
In the last several years, grand juries have faced criticism from across the political spectrum, from men exonerated from death row to former Gov. Rick Perry, from groups as liberal as the ACLU to conservative bastions like the Texas Public Policy Foundation or the Heritage Foundation.
Grand juries were first created in the 12th century and for generations were considered a barrier to overzealous prosecution. But in recent decades, the institution has been shifted heavily in favor of the prosecution, to the point that a judge famously declared once that a good prosecutor could convince a grand jury to "indict a ham sandwich." Too often, though, it's innocent defendants and witnesses whose lunch is eaten.
SB 1424 by Sen. Dawn Buckingham would provide counsel to vulnerable witnesses and transparency to an institution which has drawn bipartisan criticism in recent years. It would also ensure that prosecutors couldn't take the same case repeatedly to different grand juries after the first one turns them down, fishing around the courthouse until they find a group that finally will give them what they want. And it requires exculpatory evidence to be presented to the grand jury where avaialble.
Reach out today to ask your lawmaker to sign on as a coauthor to this bill and do all they can to help it pass. Learn more about this issue here.