Citizen Asks: How Are Grand Juries Supposed to Work?

ANSWER:  IN A TOTALLY AUTOMATED WAY

by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III

Tennessee was home to such historical figures as Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson

(Mar. 3, 2011) — In response to questions regarding the laws governing grand juries in Tennessee, the following information should provide a clear answer:

The Tennessee Code Annotated is available online here.

Using the search term “jury selection” results in this.

Jury selection in Tennessee State is covered by TCA 22-2-310.

No judge is allowed to pick any juror. The process of selecting jurors must be done using an automated process that prevents the possibility of any human agency (TCA 22-2-304).

Once a term of jury service is completed in Tennessee State, the dismissed juror is prohibited by law from serving on any Tennessee State jury for a minimum period of twenty-four (24) months (TCA 22-2-314).

Once the twenty-four month prohibition is lifted, a person returns to the jury box only after his name is selected in an automated random process that prevents the possibility of any human agency.

Monroe County Circuit Court Clerk Martha M. “Marty” Cook is quoted in this local new article stating: “The judge can pick the foreperson from wherever they choose. And they serve for two years unlike other jurors.”

The judicial selection process applied to Grand Jury foreman that Cook describes is found nowhere in Tennessee State law. Marty Cook has been serving as an elected County Circuit Court Clerk since 1986. Cook has worked in the County Clerk’s office for more than thirty-years.

Cook’s revelation is chilling. She publicly and officially states there is a separate process used in selecting the Grand Jury foreman that is different than that process used in selecting every other juror. This is the first statement of its kind.

Cook puts on the official record that Tennessee judges are handpicking the leaders of Tennessee County Grand Juries.

The Tennessee State Constitution is found online.

Using the search word “jury” results in this find.

One quote from the Tennessee State Constitution:

“That the right of trial by jury  shall remain inviolate, and no religious or political test shall ever be required as a qualification for jurors.”

Then there’s this citation:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” (My emphasis)

All of this taken together with the four-page letter of twenty-year and former Hamilton County Grand Jury Foreman Marsha Crabtree and there comes together enough actionable evidence to arrest, prosecute and convict many judges in Tennessee State.

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