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A few of the people featured in this edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine© are Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Mayor Allen Owen, Dr. Letitia Plummer, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert, Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Manny Berrera, Daniel "DC" Caldwell, Robert Glaser, Victoria Bryant, Eugene "Gene" Pack, David Jaroszewski, Pretta VanDible Stallworth, Monica Flores Richart, Elizabeth Santos, Gretchen Himsl, Carlos Perrett, Sergio Lira, Rodolfo (Rudy) Reyes, Jesse A. Rodriguez, Susan Shafer, Sue Deigaard, Kara DeRocha, Sean Cheben, Daniel Albert, Robert Lundin and Holly Flynn Vilaseca, Anne Katherine Sung, John Luman, Wanda Adams, Karla Brown and Gerry W. Monroe. Houston Business Connections Magazine is published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. Call (832)212-8735 for more information.

Monday, December 29, 2014

INFORMATION: Do You Want to Serve on a Grand Jury After the Recent Non-Indictments In Ferguson and Staten Island?


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By Aubrey R. Taylor 
Publisher of Houston Business Connections Magazine

I recently received an email from community activist Charles X White discussing how citizens in Harris County can become a part of the grand jury process. Below are a few facts related to: who can serve on a grand jury; what a grand jury is; how a grand jury is selected; when and where a grand jury meets and much more helpful information.

After the 2014 deaths of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, an unarmed black male who died after being placed in a choke hold by a white police officer in Staten Island, New York, the grand jury process in America has come under fire. So I thought the information below would help concerned Harris County citizens who would like to make a difference by serving on a grand jury. Here goes:

What is a Grand Jury?

A grand jury consists of twelve people whose job is to review criminal complaints and decide if there is sufficient evidence to issue an indictment. The standard of proof for an indictment is probable cause.

Who can serve on a Grand Jury?

A person can serve on a grand jury in Harris County if he:

is a citizen of Harris County, Texas, and qualified to vote in Harris County;

 is of sound mind and good moral character;

 is able to read and write;

 has never have been convicted of any felony;

 is not under indictment or other legal accusation for theft or any felony;

 is not on probation for theft or any felony;

 has not served as a grand juror or grand jury commissioner in the last year;

 is not related to any person selected to serve or serving on the same grand jury;

 is not a complainant in any matter to be heard by the grand jury during the term of court for which he has been selected as a grand juror.

How is a grand jury selected?

The court selects 3 to 5 grand jury commissioners. These commissioners are charged with compiling a list of not less than 15 nor more than 40 persons to be summoned as grand jurors. From this list, the court impanels twelve (12) grand jurors and two (2) alternate grand jurors to serve.

The law requires the commissioners to select grand jurors who “represent a broad cross section of the population of the county, considering the factors of race, sex and age.”

This means that if, even if the court summons you, you may or may not be selected to serve. If you are not selected, this is not a reflection on you, but rather the court’s attempt to comply with the requirements of the law.

Why would I want to serve on a Grand Jury?

Only a small percentage of citizens are privileged to serve on a grand jury. Those who take advantage of this unusual opportunity enjoy having a close up view of the criminal justice system and participating in the process. Serving on a grand jury provides a unique education about our criminal justice system.

Grand jurors meet new and interesting people and often form lasting bonds with fellow grand jurors. We always receive letters from former grand jurors stating what a rewarding experience they had and how much they will miss their fellow grand jurors. 

Grand jurors are also offered the opportunity to ride with a patrol officer from the Harris County Sheriff's Department and take a tour of the county morgue.

When and where does the Grand Jury meet?

Ten new grand juries are empanelled for each of the January and July Terms, with five serving at one time in three-month intervals. Each grand jury meets for two scheduled days a week at 1201 Franklin, 3rd Floor, Houston, Texas 77002. The grand jury's workday can last as long as a regular work day, but is often shorter. 

Will I be paid for Grand Jury Service?

Grand Jurors are paid $6.00 for the first session and $28.00 for each subsequent session in the grand jury term. 

How can I serve on a Grand Jury?

To be considered for the next grand jury, you must fill out the grand juror application, have it notarized, and mail it in to the Administrative Office of the District Courts, 1201 Franklin, 7th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002. If you do not truthfully answer the questions on your application, you could be prosecuted for criminal offenses.

Turning in the application means that you are making a commitment to serve as a grand juror, not merely exploring the possibility. Do not send in the application unless you can commit the time and effort required of a grand juror.


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As President and CEO of Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, I would also like to encourage you to support the people, small business, organizations, corporations and ministries who support our mission and vision to uplift, inspire, inform, and empower others as we climb.

Best regards,


Aubrey R. Taylor
Publisher of Houston Business Connections Magazine
957 NASA PARKWAY #251
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77058-3039
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EMAIL: aubreyrtaylor@gmail.com
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**** Please do not forget that your support can enable us to reach more people with our message of encouragement, hope, inspiration, and empowerment. So email me your request for a hard-copy of our “2014 Year-End Review” edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine today at: (aubreyrtaylor@gmail.com). And don’t forget that our ad prices start at a very low $40.00 dollars per issue. WE CAN ACHIEVE OUR INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE GOALS AND DREAMS BY FINDING CREATIVE WAYS TO WORK TOGETHER!!!

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PEOPLE FEATURED ON THE COVER: Businessman Craig Joseph (owner of Houston's This Is It Soul Food). FBISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre, TSU Program Director Dr. Michael O. Adams (Director of the eMPA and MPA programs at Texas Southern University), Judge Loyd Wright (District Probate Judge for Court #1 in Harris County), Businessman Bill Frazer (2015 Candidate for Controller of Houston), Controller Ronald C. Green (City of Houston Controller), Mayor Allen Owen (the mayor of Missouri City), Judge Christine Riddle Butts (District Probate Judge for Court #4 in Harris County), Grayle James (the FBISD President of the Board of Trustees), and Educator/Attorney Carroll G. Robinson (2015 Candidate for Controller of Houston). Email your request to (aubreyrtaylor@gmail.comif you would like to have a copy of our "2014 Year-End Review" edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine mailed directly to your home or business.

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Boasting accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the master of public administration (MPA) program at TSU is a 48-credit-hour program that has produced key change agents in human resources, international development and policy. For more information about these programs, please contact Dr. Michael O. Adams, 713-313-7760. 

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Launched in Fall 2013, the emergency management and homeland security (EMHS) program is designed to create graduates with extensive theoretical and applied knowledge in emergency management and disaster research. The Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security prepares students for careers in emergency management and public safety careers and will introduce students to the all-hazards approach, emergency disaster management phases, risk assessment, prevention and management, counter-terrorism, consequence management, mitigation, and recovery. For more information about these programs, please contact Dr. Michael O. Adams, 713-313-7760. 

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About Carroll G. Robinson

Carroll G. Robinson is an Associate Professor and a former Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas. Professor Robinson is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Community College System (HCC) and a Citizen Member of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund. He is a former member of the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of K9s4COPs. He is also a past chairman of the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce.

Professor Robinson is a former At-Large (elected citywide) member of the Houston (Texas) City Council. As a member of the City Council, Professor Robinson chaired the city’s Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee. 

Professor Robinson represented the City of Houston on the Board of Directors of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the local council of regional governments. He served as a member of the Board’s Budget Committee and was a Vice Chair of the Transportation Policy Council. He also represented the City of Houston on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for I-69 Texas and TEX-21, a statewide transportation coalition of elected officials, business leaders and transportation and infrastructure professionals.

Professor Robinson is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities where he served as a member of the Board’s Finance Committee and was a member of the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Steering Committee. He is a former member of the Texas Municipal League’s Utilities and Environment Committee, and Transportation Task Force; Advisory Board of the Texas Environmental Defense Fund; a past President of the Texas Association of Black City Council Members where he was also a member of the Housing Committee; a former member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO); a former member of the Texas Attorney General’s Municipal Advisory Committee (1998); Founding Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council’s Local Elected Officials Network; a former Chairman of the National League of Cities Democratic Municipal Officials; a former member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC); and a former General Counsel of the Texas Democratic Party. 

Prior to his election to the Houston City Council, Professor Robinson was an Associate Professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. He has also worked as an adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law. 

Professor Robinson has worked in the Texas Legislature as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. He received his Bachelor of Arts (with Honors) in Political Science from Richard Stockton State College in Pomona, New Jersey (where he received a Certificate of Academic Accomplishment in African-American Studies) and his Juris Doctorate from the National Law Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 

Professor Robinson is a Life Member of the NAACP and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is the author or co-author of numerous legal and public policy articles and commentaries. Robinson plans to put his vast experience and know-how to work for the people of Houston should voters choose him as the best candidate in the race for City of Houston Controller on the Tuesday, November 3, 2015 City of Houston Mayoral Election ballot.

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