Texas Law Says Jury Panels Must Be Chosen Randomly. A Brazoria County Official Had a Different Idea.
For at least six years, the district clerk in Brazoria County used a highly unusual and possibly illegal system to assemble jury panels. Under state law, jurors are supposed to be selected at random from the pool of those who’ve been called to jury duty. But Rhonda Barchak, a Republican who served as district clerk in the fast-growing county that stretches from the Houston suburbs to the Gulf Coast, had her own method. Barchak, who resigned in late August after having held the post since 2010, divided up jurors by geographical region, and then by race, to assemble panels for criminal, civil, and family-law trials. As a result of her idiosyncratic system, thousands of verdicts could potentially be overturned, and the county could face an…View Original Post
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Source: Texas Monthly