By Lauren Williams
10:18 PM PST, January 10, 2013
The Orange County Superior Court is looking for a few good jurors to serve on the grand jury for 2013-14.
The one-year term begins July 1. [Update: As of Friday afternoon the deadline to apply to serve on the grand jury was extended to Jan. 25 due to a lack of applicants. Originally, the deadline was Jan. 18.]
Those interested must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, one-year resident of Orange County and fluent in English.
Current jury Foreman Ray Garcia, a 35-year resident of Costa Mesa, said the jury acts as the area's watchdog and "serve(s) as the eyes and ears of the 3 million-plus residents of Orange County."
"We are autonomous in terms of where we select to investigate," Garcia said, mentioning that 24 county agencies and all 34 Orange County cities are subject to the grand jury's investigation.
The group also works with the district attorney's office in the charging process, deciding whether or not to indict someone in between 20 and 25 cases a year.
The current grand jury members have diverse backgrounds, with about a quarter being naturalized citizens from Asia and Canada.
Serving on the jury is a five-day-a-week commitment, Garcia said. Those on the grand jury receive $50 a day, and are compensated for their mileage, according to the announcement.
Each year the pool of candidates is narrowed from between 150 and 200 initial applicants to 30 people, and names are drawn from a hopper for the 19 people who will make up the jury for that year.
Those interested can find more information at ocgrandjury.org. They also can call (714) 834-6747 or visit the Jury Commissioner's Office, 700 W. Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana.