Thursday, July 7, 2016 – The Grand Jury or It Depends
Yesterday: Brazos District Court Voir Dire
Court Clerk: “As your name is called, please take a seat in the jury box. Name # 1. Name # 2. Name # 3 DRD.” Oh crap, that is me. I was both excited and nervous.
Court Clerk “You three will be the Foreman, Secretary and Alternate Foreman. Do you have any objections?” I like that, Alternate Foreman.
Court Clerk: – Do you have any questions?
Me: “Yes, Does this honor come with a crown or sash of some sort? Perhaps a pretty name badge?” OK, I thought about it, but did not ask. It does come with $40 per day and free parking.
Nine other names and four alternates were called and seated in the jury box. The remaining people happily walked out the door. The judge then administered the oath and we all swore or affirmed we would do whatever he had just said.
We were then escorted to the third floor to meet with another lawyer to explain what we had just sworn or affirmed to do. Here is a paraphrase of his presentation.
The Grand Jury listens to cases to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a trial. The members of the GJ do not determine guilt or innocence or sentencing.
You may hear anywhere from five to fifty or more cases per day. Most of them will be felonies. You will be surprised what people will steal from Wal-Mart.
Hopefully, this will be fun and educational for you. You will learn much about the legal system. Law enforcement officials will give presentations and demonstrations. You will get to see what cocaine looks like and what marijuana smells like. Yes, Ms. Alternate Foreperson?
No, there will not be opportunities for sampling the products.
More blah, blah, blah, yadda yadda yadday and then came the question that I know was on every one’s mind. From the back of the room an older gentleman raised his hand and said, “I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Will there be breaks?” If looks were hugs this man just got a huge grand jury group hug.
Yes, you may take as many breaks as you need.
What a relief. Here’s what I’m thinking. I am about to spend the third Thursday of each month from July to December with these people. We will determine the course or direction one’s life will take. And it all Depends on the size of our respective bladders. See you in court!