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The Roles of Grand Juries

August 27, 1986

From one who spent the most frustrating year of his life on '81-'82 Grand Jury, my thanks to Robert Stewart for his in-depth articles.

It's been a long time since I've seen such accurate work in your paper. He covered the two main barriers to an effective jury, i.e. the selection process and continuity gap, obviously from hours of in-depth research.

The only addition I could make would be having the private sector support the system by "volunteering" managers for a year with full pay as did Arco and the Pacific Telephone Co. in my year.

I would also suggest public "watchdog" meetings and encouraging colleges, as did Orange County, to give academic credit to students who would volunteer for one year on the Grand Jury.

I salute Robert Stewart and would like to serve on a statewide panel with him and retired Grand Jury foremen, post 1978, to change the law to make this archaic system into an effective one.

Until then, ex-foreman Pete Schabarun, please declare a moratorium on the Los Angeles County Grand Jury. Let the Grand Jury deputy district attorney stop baby-sitting the new jurors and go to work for Ira Reiner and earn his $70,000-plus salary.

JOHN G. SONNEBORN JR.

Rancho Palos Verdes

Sonneborn was 1981-1982 foreman of the Grand Jury.

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