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What is the Grand Juries role in a community?
Art. 20.07. FOREMAN SHALL PRESIDE. The foreman shall preside over the sessions of the grand jury, and conduct its business and proceedings in an orderly manner. He may appoint one or more members of the body to act as clerks for the grand jury.
Art. 20.09. DUTIES OF GRAND JURY. The grand jury shall inquire into all offenses liable to indictment of which any member may have knowledge, or of which they shall be informed by the attorney representing the State, or any other credible person.
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 6:01 pm By TOMMY WITHERSPOON email@example.com
“A Waco police detective was selected Wednesday to preside over a new McLennan County grand jury that could be the panel that considers the Twin Peaks shootings.
The grand jury was selected using the new state-mandated random method.
James Head, a 34-year police veteran who has spent 26 years with Waco PD, was among the first 14 on the panel qualified to serve on the grand jury and, beyond that, 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother selected Head to serve as the foreman.
After the 12 members of the grand jury, plus two alternates, were chosen, Head, wearing his police badge and service pistol, entered the grand jury chambers with the others to begin considering about 100 criminal cases presented by the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office.
This panel, which will meet twice a month for the next three months, could consider indictments against the 177 bikers arrested in the wake of the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout that left nine dead and 20 wounded. A grand jury, at some point, also will review Waco police officers’ actions in response to the melee that broke out between rival biker groups that day.
But former Appeals Court Justice Jan Patterson, justice in residence at Baylor Law School and a former federal prosecutor who has years of experience with grand juries, said the detective’s service could be problematic.
“Of course, it is up to the judge, but it would be very difficult for a police officer to serve,” she said. “All of the cases the grand jury considers are criminal cases, and in many circumstances, a police officer will know the parties. It may be difficult to be impartial, and I would think it will be difficult, as well, to appear impartial, which are both important functions for a grand jury.””
From LinkedIn resume:
Waco Police Department
October 1988 – Present (27 years 10 months)
“I started police work in 1979 as a reserve police officer with the city of Beverly Hills, Texas. I then started working for them full time in 1981. I later went to the city of Robinson, Texas for almost a year and then went to work for the Waco Police Department in 1988. I worked two years in patrol and then went to CID where I have worked ever since. I am currently working in the Theft Unit of the Neighborhood Services Section of Waco PD.”