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HB 941 - Urgent Action Needed

HB 941 is the proposed bill that greatly alters a law enforcement officer's right to be in grand jury. You will no longer have an absolute right to be in the grand jury throughout the presentment. You will be notified at least 20 days before the grand jury hears a presentment against you. If you notify the DA, you may appear as a witness and make a statement to the grand jury. Your attorney may appear with you and you may step outside the grand jury room to consult with your attorney should you desire; however, your attorney may not ask any questions or make any statement in the grand jury room. If you do make any statement, you will be subject to questioning by the prosecutor and grand jurors.
 
There will be a hearing (only) of HB 941 this Friday, February 12th at 10 AM by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee at the Capitol (room TBD). Please contact your representative and any or all of representatives of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee below asking them (in a professional way) to protect your right to a grand jury:
 
                                                                
Representative                    Home County                   Committee Position                               
Golick, Rich                         Cobb                                Chairman                         rich.golick@house.ga.gov
 
Pak, B.J.                              Gwinnett                          Vice Chairman                 votebjpak@gmail.com
 
Abrams, Stacey                    DeKalb                            Member                           staceyabrams@gmail.com
 
Atwood, Alex                        Glynn                               Member                           alex.atwood@house.ga.gov
 
Ballinger, Mandi L.               Cherokee                         Member                           mandi.ballinger@house.ga.gov
 
Coomer, Christian                Bartow                             Member                           christian.coomer@house.ga.gov
 
Cooper, Sharon                    Cobb                               Member                           sharon.cooper@house.ga.gov
 
Dickerson, Pam                    Rockdale                        Member                           pam.dickerson@house.ga.gov
 
Gravley, Micah                     Douglas                          Member                           micah.gravley@house.ga.gov
 
Hightower, Dustin                 Carroll                            Member                           dustin.hightower@house.ga.gov
 
Kendrick, Dar'shun               DeKalb                          Member                            dkendrick@kendrickforgeorgia.com
 
Ramsey, Matt                       Fayette                          Member                            matt.ramsey@house.ga.gov
 
Randall, Nikki T.                   Bibb                               Member                            nikki.randall@house.ga.gov
 
Reeves, Albert                     Cobb                             Member                             albert.reeves@house.ga.gov
 
Setzler, Ed                           Cobb                             Member                             ed.setzler@house.ga.gov
 
Strickland, Brian                 Henry                             Member                             brian.strickland@house.ga.gov

Trammell, Robert               Meriwether                     Member                             bob.trammell@house.ga.gov
 
 
Talking points for your consideration and feel free to draw your own ideas from the bill: 
 
  1. Transparency is needed and transcribing the testimony of witnesses, officer's statement, and questions/instructions of DA is a great change in the law.
     
  2. The grand jury process is an important protection against political prosecutions of law enforcement officers and elected officials.
     
  3. It is important to note that this bill will only affect law enforcement officers.
     
  4. Officers & their attorney need to be present throughout the presentment to be able to fairly present their assessment of the incident to the grand jury.
     
  5. Officer should have an absolute right to be in the grand jury.
     
  6. Officers are making a statement as the subject of the bill of presentment and not as a witness.
  7. Certainly it would be appropriate and very helpful for grand jurors to ask clarifying questions of the officer following his or her statement.
     
  8. Officers are not there as a witness for the prosecution and should not be subject to questioning by the DA.
     
  9. The DA should not be able to call rebuttal witnesses following the officer's statement, this is not a trial.
     
  10. If the officer is denied being in the grand jury throughout the presentment, the officer's attorney should get the complete transcript at same time as DA.

 

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