Madera County Superior Court Judges Dale Blea and Ernest LiCalsi will speak about the role of grand juries in the judicial system, 10:30 a.m. - noon, Saturday, April 16, in the Community Room at the Oakhurst library.
The workshop will explore the kind of cases grand juries investigate and answer questions, such as what ability does a grand jury have to protect whistle blowers?
Blea and LiCalsi will explain how jurors are selected to sit on a grand jury and how long they serve.
The workshop will also address the role the public plays in the grand jury’s function.
California’s Constitution requires the annual appointment of a grand jury - a group of citizens with the purpose of investigating public complaints and county government, and making recommendations on how to save county taxpayers money.
Written complaints submitted to the grand jury are brought before the jury for review, to determine if an investigation is warranted. All grand jury business is conducted in secret, and all information and discussions are considered highly confidential. The secrecy is required to protect the innocent accused, encourage disclosures by citizens with with information relevant to an investigation, and to ensure the utmost freedom to jury members in the deliberation process.
Leanne Thomson, president of the Madera Chapter of the California Grand Jury Association, will also speak along with Jeannie Turpenen and David Lopez, current members of the Grand Jurors’ Association and prior members of the Madera County grand jury.
John Rigby, the current foreman of the county grand jury, and Thomson will also be available to answer questions from the public.
County personnel will be available to answer questions and to help those interested in enrolling to serve on the panel.
The 19-member 2016-2017 Madera County grand jury will be impaneled in July.
The free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library.
Details: (559) 683-4838, or visit oakhurstfobl.com.