This morning, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard testimony on a bill that would put an end to grand jury shopping, allow the target of a grand jury investigation to be accompanied by their attorney; require the recording of grand jury proceedings; and require the disclosure of exculpatory evidence.
The Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg was at the State Capitol this morning expressing her concerns.
“The injection of witnesses into grand jury investigations, and witnesses and their lawyers gives me great pause. One, I think it’s intimidating. But, the delay and the costs are the biggest things that frighten me,” said Ogg.
She said she doesn't know how others counties will handle it. For Harris County, with 40,000 indictments on violent cases, it will cost significantly more.
“If somebody is entitled to a lawyer, as a witness, because they might be incriminated by something they way, I think you’re looking at a tremendous unforeseen costs there,” said Ogg.
She said she doesn't know how others counties will handle it.
Last Legislative session, the grand jury selection process was reformed for more diversity and random people, rather than hand picked by judges.
Ogg said since then, they've seen a change locally with more police being indicted.