A 1940 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court requires that grand juries— the panels of citizens that decide whether criminal suspects will be indicted — represent “a broad cross-section” of the community.
But 64 years later, in Houston Harris County, Texas law enforcement officers and others with courthouse jobs that make them less likely to sympathize with a defendant are a strong presence on Harris County grand juries.
The latest revelations in the Houston Chronicle dated July 24, 2014, where Having an active duty police officer served as a foreman in a Harris County Grand Jury, in a police shooting ignites’ the debate why the grand jury selection process in Harris, County Texas is flawed and violates the constitutional rights of those who are accused (1) Allowing those with close ties in the criminal justice and or legal system, including police officers to serve on grand juries. (2) Empanelling mostly white grand juries members in a county with a large population of Black and Hispanics. (3) Using shooting simulator demonstration during grand jury orientation that empathize with police officers (link to Houston Chron article on the Grand Jury)