Letters to the Editor

Grand jury duty is a chance to serve community

We write to encourage Fresno County citizens to apply for the 2007-08 Fresno County Grand Jury. Participation in this process has at least three exceptional benefits not usually available to ordinary citizens.

First, jurors will have direct input into the governmental functions of our county. We are not a criminal jury. Only in rare cases do we handle criminal matters.

Secondly, jurors will gain a significantly enhanced understanding of both the judicial system in our county and of the operations and personnel involved in local government. The Grand Jury is described as the "watchdog" of government for the citizens of Fresno County.

The third benefit is a bit more difficult to describe. It consists of a renewed sense of faith in citizen democracy, and in the idea that people of good faith may, despite their initial disagreements, find common ground after exposing their ideas to challenge and debate ultimately leading to consensus views.

Applications are available from the Superior Court by calling Sherry Spears at 488-3467.

Hon. Hilary A. Chittick

Presiding Judge

Superior Court of California

County of Fresno

Marian Mosley

Grand Jury Foreman