AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice Senior Policy Analyst Greg Glod issued the following statement on Texas Senate Bill 1424 and House Bill 2640, which would reform the Texas grand jury system. 

          “These bills would bring much needed reform to right size our grand jury system,” said Glod. “Grand juries were initially placed in our Constitution as a safeguard against overzealous government action. Today, we have seen the grand jury system’s power tilt towards prosecutors, providing little protection for those accused of crimes at this integral stage in the criminal justice system. These reforms are a common sense approach that will allow prosecutors to continue to do their jobs and protect our neighborhoods from criminals while providing protections to citizens from an overbearing government.”

The bills, introduced by Senator Dawn Buckingham and Representative Senfronia Thompson in their respective chambers, would:

  • Require recording of the grand jury proceeding for the purposes of use in subsequent proceedings (not for public consumption);
  • Require prosecutors to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury;
  • Allow for counsel in the grand jury room while their client is being questioned;
  • Provide reasonable notice to witnesses who are subpoenaed to testify; and
  • Only allow for a subsequent grand jury proceeding against the accused for the same action if there is new material evidence.

Representative Thompson’s bill also has a provision that would allow for a recoupment of attorney’s fees for certain accused individuals in the most frivolous of cases.

To schedule an interview with Mr. Glod, please contact Caroline Espinosa at cespinosa@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.

Greg Glod is Manager of State Initiatives for Right on Crime and Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

TheTexas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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