Medina grand jurors want to keep the ball rolling

You have to admire their determination.

A day after finding out they didn’t have the legal authority to indict Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife in an arson case, former grand jurors said Wednesday they plan to present their opinions to a new grand jury as ordinary citizens.

They won’t be allowed, however, to talk about what they heard during most of their time behind closed doors.

“Credible people have been giving information (to us) about who should be subpoenaed to testify and we would tell them about other witnesses that our grand jury asked to be subpoenaed but who were not called,” said Bob Ryan, the former grand jury’s foreman.


Should any of the former jurors appear before the new grand jury, they cannot divulge anything they heard before their original term ended.

State District Judge Jim Wallace said the grand jurors aren’t legally obligated to remain silent about what they heard after Nov. 2, but asked them to do so.

[Prosecutor Vic] Wisner said Ryan, and any citizen, is welcome to try to get an audience with a grand jury, as long as grand jury testimony, which is secret, isn’t divulged.

“I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with him anymore,” Wisner said. “More power to him, but he may want to wait until a new district attorney takes office in January 2009.”

Wisner has long asserted that he wants to go forward with the case, but that there isn’t enough evidence.

And he can keep asserting it until the cows come home, it still doesn’t make sense. Why would the Harris County convene the grand jury in the first place if they weren’t prepared for them to come back with an indictment? Why waste everybody’s time? I rather doubt Wisner or anyone else in Chuck Rosenthal’s office will address that question.

Ryan said all 11 of his former jurors have said they want the Medina case to be investigated further. He said he would contact the Harris County Grand Jury bailiff to request to make a presentation to a newly impaneled grand jury in February.

“We would welcome the opportunity to present the new evidence in the Medina case,” he said.

Citizens, prosecutors or sitting grand jurors can present information for investigations to grand juries.

“Our grand jury handed up indictments with probable case, but the district attorney said we did not have sufficient evidence,” Ryan said. “We are going to provide enough evidence with another grand jury so he has sufficient evidence to proceed with the case.”

“We believe strongly that the Medinas did something wrong or we wouldn’t have indicted them,” said Barbara Buck. “We believe it shouldn’t go by the wayside. Another grand jury should look into it. I think it should hear our point of view if it is willing.”

It’s not clear to me how much effect Ryan and the original grand jury can have, given that they can’t talk about the evidence they’d been presented. Obviously, any new grand jury can cover the same ground as they, but they’d need to figure out where to go without any input from the originals. I wish them all luck, if for no better reason than we need some kind of closure here, but I think Wisner is correct in saying that not much is likely to happen before 2009.

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