Bill Text: TX HB713 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to grand jury proceedings.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-01 - Referred to Criminal Jurisprudence [HB713 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB713-Introduced.html
  87R3295 AJZ-D
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 713
 
 
 
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 20A.102(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  While the grand jury is conducting proceedings, only the
  following persons may be present in the grand jury room:
               (1)  a grand juror;
               (2)  a bailiff;
               (3)  the attorney representing the state;
               (4)  a witness:
                     (A)  while the witness is being examined; or
                     (B)  when the witness's presence is necessary to
  assist the attorney representing the state in examining another
  witness or presenting evidence to the grand jury;
               (5)  an interpreter, if necessary;
               (6)  a stenographer or a person operating an electronic
  recording device, as provided by Article 20A.201; [and]
               (7)  a person operating a video teleconferencing system
  for use under Article 20A.259; 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 20A.1031.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter C, Chapter 20A, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, is amended by adding Article 20A.1031 to read as
  follows:
         Art. 20A.1031.  ATTORNEY REPRESENTING WITNESS ENTITLED TO
  APPEAR. 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 3.  Article 20A.204(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The attorney representing the state may not disclose
  anything transpiring before the grand jury except as permitted by
  this article, [or] Article 20A.205(a) or (b), or Article 39.14(h).
         SECTION 4.  Article 20A.257, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 20A.257.  EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES. (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)  Only a grand juror or the attorney representing the
  state may examine a witness before the grand jury.
         (c) [(b)]  The attorney representing the state shall advise
  the grand jury regarding the proper mode of examining a witness.
         (d)  Before the grand jury may question the witness, a
  witness appearing before a grand jury shall be orally given the
  following warning:
         "Your testimony before this grand jury is under oath. Any
  material question that is answered falsely before this grand jury
  subjects you to being prosecuted for aggravated perjury. You have
  the right to refuse to make answers to any question, the answer to
  which would incriminate you in any manner. During questioning, you
  have the right to have an attorney present to advise you before
  making answers to questions you feel might incriminate you. Any
  testimony you give may be used against you at any subsequent
  proceeding."
         (e) [(c)]  If a felony has been committed in any county in
  the grand jury's jurisdiction, and the name of the offender is known
  or unknown or if it is uncertain when or how the felony was
  committed, the grand jury shall first state the subject matter
  under investigation to a witness called before the grand jury and
  may then ask questions relevant to the transaction in general terms
  and in a manner that enables a determination as to whether the
  witness has knowledge of the violation of any particular law by any
  person, and if so, by what person.
         SECTION 5.  Article 39.14(h), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (h)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this article,
  the state shall disclose to the defendant any exculpatory,
  impeachment, or mitigating document, item, or information in the
  possession, custody, or control of the state that tends to negate
  the guilt of the defendant or would tend to reduce the punishment
  for the offense charged, including any exculpatory, impeachment, or
  mitigating document, item, or information that was obtained as a
  result of a grand jury proceeding.
         SECTION 6.  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 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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