Bill Text: TX SB1492 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to grand jury proceedings and establishing a commission to study improvements and alternatives to those proceedings.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-19 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB1492 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB1492-Introduced.html
  86R9417 AJZ-F
 
  By: Whitmire S.B. No. 1492
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to grand jury proceedings.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 20.011(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Only the following persons may be present in a grand
  jury room while the grand jury is conducting proceedings:
               (1)  grand jurors;
               (2)  bailiffs;
               (3)  the attorney representing the state;
               (4)  witnesses while being examined or when necessary
  to assist the attorney representing the state in examining other
  witnesses or presenting evidence to the grand jury;
               (5)  interpreters, if necessary;
               (6)  a stenographer or person operating an electronic
  recording device, as provided by Article 20.012; [and]
               (7)  a person operating a video teleconferencing system
  for use under Article 20.151; and
               (8)  an attorney representing a witness, including a
  witness who is an accused or suspected person, during the time the
  witness is being examined or offering testimony to the grand jury
  and for the sole purpose of providing consultation in the manner
  described by Article 20.03(c).
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Article 20.012, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
         Art. 20.012.  RECORDING OF GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS [CERTAIN
  TESTIMONY].
         SECTION 3.  Articles 20.012(a) and (b), Code of Criminal
  Procedure, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, all
  statements made by the grand jury or the attorney representing the
  state, all questions [Questions] propounded by the grand jury or
  the attorney representing the state to a witness, [person accused
  or suspected] and all [the] testimony of a witness [that person] to
  the grand jury shall be recorded either by a stenographer or by use
  of an electronic device capable of recording sound. Deliberations
  of the grand jury may not be recorded.
         (b)  The validity of a grand jury proceeding is not affected
  by an unintentional failure to record all or part of the proceedings
  as required by [questions propounded or testimony made under]
  Subsection (a).
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 20, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 20.013 to read as follows:
         Art. 20.013.  WHO MAY BE INVESTIGATED. (a)  Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), a grand jury may not investigate a
  person who is accused or suspected of an offense and may not vote to
  present an indictment for the offense if the person has previously
  been investigated by a grand jury for the same offense and that
  grand jury found no bill of indictment.
         (b)  A grand jury may investigate, and may present an
  indictment with respect to, a person described by Subsection (a)
  only if the attorney representing the state presents material
  evidence that was not known to the state before or during the
  previous grand jury investigation.
         SECTION 5.   Article 20.03, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 20.03.  ATTORNEY [REPRESENTING STATE] ENTITLED TO
  APPEAR. (a)  In this chapter, "attorney ["The attorney]
  representing the state [State]" means the attorney general 
  [Attorney General], district attorney, criminal district attorney,
  or county attorney.
         (b)  The attorney representing the state [State,] is
  entitled to go before the grand jury and inform the grand jurors 
  [them] of offenses liable to indictment at any time except when the
  grand jury is:
               (1)  [they are] discussing the propriety of finding an
  indictment; or
               (2)  voting on an indictment [upon the same].
         (c)  A witness who testifies before a grand jury, including a
  witness who is an accused or suspected person, is entitled to have
  an attorney present while the grand jury is questioning the
  witness. The grand jury shall permit the attorney or the witness to
  interrupt the questioning at any time so that the witness may
  consult with the attorney outside the hearing of the grand jury.
         SECTION 6.  Chapter 20, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 20.035 to read as follows:
         Art. 20.035.  PRESENTATION OF EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE BY STATE.
  (a)  The attorney representing the state shall present to a grand
  jury investigating an offense any evidence that is:
               (1)  favorable to the accused or suspected person;
               (2)  material to the offense being investigated; and
               (3)  in the possession, custody, or control of the
  state or any person under contract with the state.
         (b)  Evidence described by Subsection (a) may be presented to
  the grand jury at any time during the investigation.
         SECTION 7.  Article 20.17(c), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  If an accused or suspected person is subpoenaed to
  appear before a grand jury prior to any questions before the grand
  jury, the person accused or suspected shall be orally warned as
  follows:
               (1)  "Your testimony before this grand jury is under
  oath";
               (2)  "Any material question that is answered falsely
  before this grand jury subjects you to being prosecuted for
  aggravated perjury";
               (3)  "You have the right to refuse to make answers to
  any question, the answer to which would incriminate you in any
  manner";
               (4)  "During questioning, you ["You] have the right to
  have an attorney [a lawyer] present [outside this chamber] to
  advise you before making answers to questions you feel might
  incriminate you";
               (5)  "Any testimony you give may be used against you at
  any subsequent proceeding";
               (6)  "If you are unable to employ an attorney [a
  lawyer], you have the right to have an attorney [a lawyer] appointed
  to advise you before making an answer to a question, the answer to
  which you feel might incriminate you."
         SECTION 8.  Article 20.18, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 20.18.  HOW WITNESS QUESTIONED. (a)  A person who is
  subpoenaed to appear as a witness before a grand jury shall be given
  a reasonable opportunity to retain counsel and to consult with
  counsel before the person's appearance.
         (b)  Before the grand jury may question the witness, a
  witness appearing before a grand jury shall be orally given the
  warnings described by Article 20.17(c), other than the warning
  described by Article 20.17(c)(6).
         (c)  When a felony has been committed in any county within
  the jurisdiction of the grand jury, and the name of the offender is
  known or unknown or where it is uncertain when or how the felony was
  committed, the grand jury shall first state to the witness called
  the subject matter under investigation, then may ask pertinent
  questions relative to the transaction in general terms and in such a
  manner as to determine whether the witness [he] has knowledge of the
  violation of any particular law by any person, and if so, by what
  person.
         SECTION 9.   The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  a grand jury proceeding that begins on or after the effective date
  of this Act. A grand jury proceeding that begins before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the proceeding began, and the former law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.
         SECTION 10.   This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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