As I watch the state our nation is in, most of the time I am moved to tears. I begin praying and feel at a loss for words. For weeks now I have been feeling the weight of this question: “what can I do?” How can I be apart of bringing change? Does my little voice really matter in these big conversations? In a sea of opinions and articles, is another voice necessary? It seems as if everyone is screaming a lot of things from several different angles. Instead of me going into who is right or wrong, I have been learning to focus in on what I CAN do. What is it that I can do in my community now to make a difference? One area I was curious to learn more about was the process by which ordinary citizens like you and me are selected to participate in the grand jury.
We have seen how grand jury’s have played a huge role in many of the recent court cases. Did you know that in Houston you can apply to be a grand juror? Each city in Texas has a similar but varied selection process. Explore the websites to learn about the process in more detail. Remember in order to participate, you must be a registered voter.
“To be considered for the next grand jury, you must fill out the grand juror application, have it notarized, and mail it in to the Administrative Office of the District Courts, 1201 Franklin, 7th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002. If you do not truthfully answer the questions on your application, you could be prosecuted for criminal offenses.”
For ATX: “Federal law requires that a grand jury be selected at random from a fair cross section of the community in the district or division in which the federal grand jury convenes. Thus, all citizens have an equal opportunity and obligation to serve. Pursuant to law, the names of prospective grand jurors are drawn at random from lists of registered voters or lists of actual voters, or other sources when necessary, under procedures designed to ensure that all groups in the community will have a fair chance to serve. Those persons whose names have been drawn and who are not exempt or excused from service are summoned to appear for duty as grand jurors. When these persons appear before the court, the presiding judge may consider any further requests to be excused. The judge will then direct the selection of 23 qualified persons to become the members of the grand jury.”
Education is so important. The more we are educated the more efficiently we can advocate for others. If we want to see change in our judicial system we need to learn more about it. All my lawyer/law student friends: tell me what you know! Your voices are so valuable right now.
May we truly live and love our PEOPLE (neighbors, teachers, friends, and strangers) and our community. What a difference walking in love makes, it changes, everything.