JURY REFORM AMENDMENTS
SECTION 1. TITLE
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the Jury Reform Amendments.
SECTION 2. PURPOSE AND INTENT
It is the intent of the people of the State of California in enacting this measure to correct certain defects in the Constitution of the State of California concerning juries.
THEREFORE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 3. AMENDMENTS
Article 6, Section 13, is hereby amended to read as follows:
No judgment shall be set aside, or new trial granted, in any cause, on the ground of misdirection of the jury, or of the improper admission or rejection of evidence, or for any error as to any matter of pleading, or for any error as to any matter of procedure, unless, after an examination of the entire cause, including the evidence, the court shall be of the opinion that:
(a) The error complained of has resulted in a miscarriage of justice; or
(b) In a jury trial of a criminal case, one or more of the following situations has occurred:
(1) The jury has not been informed of its power and duty to judge both the law and the facts in the case.
(2) The defense has been prevented from informing the jury of its power and duty to judge both the law and the facts in the case, or threatened or penalized in any way for doing so.
(3) The issues of law, including jurisdiction and constitutional compliance, other than minor procedural issues, have not been argued in the presence of the jury, and the jury has not been provided with at least one copy of all pleadings in the case, including amicus curiae briefs and proposed jury instructions from all parties, and a copy of the constitutions of the State of California and the United States and all applicable laws and precedents.
(4) The jury has not been afforded the opportunity to ask any questions they may have of any person, including any additional witnesses and evidence they may require.
(5) The jury has not been afforded the use of any documentation they may request, including the resources of an adequate law library, and competent assistance in their legal research.
(6) Any person has been excluded from the jury on the basis of his or her knowledge of the law, familiarity with legal reform advocacy literature, or involvement in legal reform advocacy activities.
(c) In a criminal case, with or without a jury, the prosecution has failed to prove that the court has jurisdiction.
Article 1, Section 23, is hereby amended to read as follows:
One or more grand juries shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county, selected at random from among the residents of the county.
(a) Each grand jury shall consist of twenty-three (23) persons, who shall make all decisions by a majority vote of grand jurors present.
(b) The grand jury shall have sole authority to adopt their own rules of procedure, to select petitions to be considered, to include or exclude any person other than its members from any proceeding, to subpoena witnesses, to decide whether or not to disclose any part of its proceedings at any time, to decide where and when to meet, and to decide when to adjourn.
(c) The grand jury shall receive all petitions from any person directly, although court staff may sort and categorize petitions, and upon approval of the court, petitions may be appended with comments.
(d) The filing fee for petitions to the grand jury shall not exceed Fifty Dollars ($50), and the fee may be waived in forma pauperis..
(e) No person shall be tried for a crime the penalty for which may exceed incarceration for six months or a fine in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1000) who has not been indicted by a grand jury.
(f) Criminal prosecution by private parties other than public prosecutors shall not be impeded, other than by consolidating several such actions against the same accused for the same offense into a single action, and by the requirement of indictment by a grand jury.
(g) All of the branches, departments, and offices of government, both state and local, shall be reviewed by a grand jury or members thereof not less than twice a year, at random times, on-site and in real time, and as often as complaints may require.
(1) Grand juries may divide into teams or individual members for such reviews and investigations, who shall report back to the grand jury as a whole.
(2) The members of such grand juries shall have unlimited access to all operations of government, other than jury deliberations, to which they are assigned by the grand jury as a whole, and may carry and use such recording or other investigative tools as the grand jury may direct, or bring such experts as they may deem useful for interpreting what they are reviewing.
(3) The review of judicial processes, including sessions between judges and lawyers, court administration other than jury selection, and criminal and penal procedures, shall occur not less than once a week.
(4) The grand jury or such designated members thereof shall review all jury selection processes on site and in real time, excepting only the selection of the first jury after an interruption of such review, to insure that no jury stacking occurs.
(5) Grand jurors shall have the power to interview any person in private during such reviews who they may suspect may have a complaint or evidence of misconduct in any department of government, and no such person may be questioned thereafter about the content of such an interview.
(h) A petition of 1000, or ten percent, whichever is less, of the residents of the county shall be sufficient to call a special grand jury to consider any subject prescribed by the petition, and to have any indictments brought by such grand jury prosecuted by a person or persons named by the petition.
SECTION 4. SELF-EXECUTION AND SEVERABILITY
These amendments shall be self-executing. If any provision of these amendments or their application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of these Amendments which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of these Amendments are severable.
SECTION 5. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER MEASURES
To the extent that any other measures on the same subject shall be on the ballot at the same election, it is the intent of the voters that this measure be deemed, to the maximum extent possible, not to be in conflict with such other measures, but rather that this measure should be harmonized with such other measures. For this purpose, the numbering of the provisions of these Amendments may be renumbered to achieve such harmonization.