Petition To Improve Grand Jury Members Selection

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Petition By Citizens of Harris County, Texas To Improve the Selection of Grand Jury Members by Randomized Methods Please review and sign this petition. It is meant to improve the Harris County Grand Jury System by ensuring qualified grand jurors are selected at random, as opposed to potentially biased, and discriminatory manners that exclude Blacks and Hispanics, as well as Women and Others.

Background: Over half of the commissioners nominating individuals to serve as grand jurors has close ties to the legal system. They included judges, attorneys, court employees, bail bond agents, probation officers and law enforcement officers and less than 10% of the serving grand jurors were Hispanic-surnamed though approximately 33% of the county population was Hispanic (Karson, 2006, p. 3). Black and Women grand jurors face similar, unfavorable odds. “The exclusion of otherwise eligible persons from jury service solely because of their ancestry or national origin is discrimination prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment” (U.S. Supreme Court, in Hernandez v. Texas). In Powers v. Ohio the Supreme Court held that jurors have a right not to be excluded based on their race, yet race-based exclusion continues to stigmatize growing numbers of Americans.

History: Racist Klansmen prevented the indictment of suspected murderers during the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi in the 1960s and that colonial rebels influenced the indictment of British soldiers for murder during the Revolutionary War. Thus, it is suggested that control of the grand jury is effectively the control of justice” (Karson, 2006, p. 4). The concept of being propertied in the system gives one the power to create laws, to decide who will be defined as the law breaker, to use the law to support one’s own interests, or to be able to have the law serve the interests of the “ruling class” (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2004). Social power is retained through the political power process (Mann, 1986). While there are differing criminological perspectives on the origins of criminal law, most recognize that the propertied influence the definition of the law. The law, for all intents and purposes, is their property. As such, some states continued to limit those eligible for jury duty to those who were landholders—those who were propertied in the traditional sense of the word (Younger, 1963, in Karson, 2006, p. 4). Chronicle author, Gutheinz (2008) served in the Harris Count Grand Jury system, and termed it “laughable, ” ‘The grand jurors that are chosen in Harris County are too white and too conservative. Most grand juries here don’t even come close to reflecting the ethnic, racial and political makeup of Texas’ most populous county. I know mine didn’t’” (June 1, 2008; too white, too right; minorities; democrats pay unfair price).

Call for Action: The County district courts have continued to use the key-man system and have systematically discriminated against the Hispanic population by limiting their participation in the grand jury process. This failure jeopardizes the assurance of an impartial jury (Holland v. Illinois, 1990) by not allowing a fair cross-section of the populace to be considered for service and it can be considered intentional discrimination as the jury pool selection practice “is susceptible of abuse or is not racially neutral” (Castaneda v. Partida, 430 U.S. at 494, 1977, in Karson, 2006, p. 10).

2 Replies to “Petition To Improve Grand Jury Members Selection”

  1. I just joined your website. I want to make you aware of the National Liberty Alliance movement to get all counties in Texas as well as all counties in all 50 states to lawfully and constitutionally re-constitute Common Law Grand Juries.
    All 50 states have joined in on this movement. This movement started in the middle of last year and it started in New York state. Please join us in this movement as we are ALL one in this effort….we are the people speaking out, just like you are. We are nonpartisan and open to all race, creed and color of the people of the united States of America. You an contact me at Please review the website at and register as jurists. This is a huge movement and just went international as well in Canada and in the United Kingdom. John Darash, the spokesman for this movement gives updates and educates the people on his Monday internet radio shows at Please contact me. Thank you very much. WE WILL GET THIS DONE and justice, mercy and honor will be restored to our judicial systems in all states in this nation.

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