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Oakhurst Library Workshop: What is the Grand Jury?

OAKHURST — Have you ever wondered what a Grand Jury is, how it works, or if you could ever serve on one? Now is the time to get those answers.

On Saturday, Apr. 29, the Oakhurst Branch Library will host an informative workshop about what makes California Grand Juries unique. The event is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Community Room of the Oakhurst Library, located at 49044 Civic Circle Drive.

The workshop will explore the kind of cases Grand Juries investigate and answer questions such as what ability does the Grand Jury have to protect whistleblowers? How are jurors selected to sit on the Grand Jury and how long do they serve? And, what role does the public play in the Grand Jury’s function?

The morning’s agenda will also include a history of the Grand Jury, the difference between the Grand Jury and the Petit Jury, the duties of jurors and publication of reports.

Leanne Thomson, President of the Madera Chapter of the California Grand Jury Association, said some members of the association and of the sitting Grand Jury have been invited to speak at the workshop about the role of the Grand Jury in our judicial system.

“All members of the Madera Chapter, California Grand Jury Association are past Grand Jury members and may also be on the sitting Grand Jury,” Thomson explained.

Speaking at the workshop are Jeannie Turpenen and Barr Kullberg, current members of the Grand Jurors’ Association and members of the 2016-17 Grand Jury, and Jan Peirsol, Grand Jury Foreman. They will talk about their experiences serving on the panel. Thomson will also be available to answer questions from the public at the event.

The free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. For more information, call (559) 683-4838 or visit

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