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1Judge may hold hearing on grand jurors' complaints

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  • Jon Roland
    Jan 18, 2008
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      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5466932.html

      Jan. 18, 2008, 11:45AM
      Judge may hold hearing on grand jurors' complaints

      By BRIAN ROGERS
      Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

      A judge is expected to rule this afternoon on whether to hold a hearing to address complaints against two grand jurors who spoke out against District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal and his office for dismissing charges against Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife.

      Medina's attorney, Terry Yates, said grand jury foreman Robert Ryan and assistant foreman Jeffrey Dorrell acted illegally when they told reporters Thursday that Rosenthal's unwillingness to prosecute was politically motivated.

      "They've made a mockery of the entire process," Yates said.

      Yates filed a motion asking state District Judge Jim Wallace to schedule a hearing to determine whether the two disclosed information deemed secret about grand jury proceedings.

      If held in contempt, the two could face 30 day in jail and a $500 fine.

      Yate's action came minutes after Assistant District Attorney Vic Wisner dismissed the Medina indictments.

      Wisner said the office would continue to investigate David Medina and his wife Fran in connection with the fire that destroyed their home last summer.

      "We're six months into a 10 year statute of limitations," Wisner said. "It's like being three minutes into the Super Bowl."

      He said arson investigators continue to look into the fire, but that there is not enough evidence to go forward with the case.

      brian.rogers@...

      JonRoland wrote:
      This case illustrates a conflict between the grand jury as it was intended to operate during the Founding Era, and the way it has come to operate in recent times. It is important to realize that originally, there were few if any public criminal prosecutors in this country. Most criminal prosecutions were private. Any citizen with a complaint could take it to the grand jury, and if, after investigation, they decided the prosecution should go forward, they appointed the complainant or his designated agent to act as prosecutor, with the title, for that case, of "attorney general", because he then had a general power of attorney to represent the state. For more on this do a web search on "grand jury reform" or go to http://www.constitution.org/jury/gj/gj-us.htm , and in particular to the articles on reviving private criminal prosecutions.
      1/18/2008 9:23 PM CST
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