A Grand Jury is a panel of eighteen (18) Jefferson County citizens who are selected at random from the group of prospective jurors who have been summoned for jury service. In Jefferson County, the Grand Jury is in session for one week per month for three consecutive months. Jurors selected to serve as a grand juror will serve during each of these three weeks. Each year, four Grand Juries are empaneled in Jefferson County. Special sessions of the Grand Jury may also be scheduled as needed. Grand jurors selected for special sessions usually serve only one week.
The purpose of the Grand Jury is to hear testimony from witnesses and review the State’s evidence to determine if there is probable cause to issue an indictment against a suspect. In Alabama, an indictment must be returned by a Grand Jury before any felony case can go to trial.