The Clatsop County District Attorney's office receives about 2,000 police reports each year. Every report is reviewed vertically by a deputy DA – meaning the same deputy DA will review the case and, as necessary, deal with witnesses and victims, present the case to a Grand Jury and (in less than 8 percent of cases, because most are either dismissed or resolved) take the case to trial.
Of the 2,000 cases, the office files about 500 felonies each year, each of which must be presented to the Grand Jury. Unlike regular jury service, Grand Jurors work exclusively with the District Attorney's Office.
Every month, the names of 10 citizens are pulled from the general jury pool to serve on the Clatsop County Grand Jury. The court will summon about 20 possible jurors and ask whether they can serve two days each week for a month.
Tell the judge if Grand Jury service would be a major economic hardship for you – for instance, if you're self-employed or your employer can't or won't pay you while you are on jury service. You will likely go back into the general jury pool.
Of the 20 possible jurors, 14 will be chosen for the Grand Jury – 7 regular jurors and 7 on-call alternates. The 7 regular Grand Jurors will review between 1 and 8 felony presentments each day. They will ask questions and, with advice from the DA's office, determine what charges, if any, should be filed.
The Grand Jury meets in secret, with the district attorneys acting as their legal advisor, and must vote at least 5 to 2 to indict any felony case.
Grand Jury service can be difficult but it is very rewarding. Every session two or three grand jurors will ask to serve again, but Oregon law prohibits service on any jury more than once every two years.