Judges' efforts to pick diverse grand juries often fall short in Travis County
Austin Texas — After the May shooting death of 20-year-old African American Byron Carter Jr. by a white police officer, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg waited several months before presenting the case to a grand jury. One reason: She didn't think the grand juries seated at the time were diverse enough.
The panel that ultimately heard the case — and declined to indict Austin police officer Nathan Wagner last month, 10 months after the shooting — was made up of five blacks, three Hispanics, three Asian Americans and one Caucasian.
The panel's diversity was a rarity in Travis County.
An Austin American-Statesman analysis has found that county judges have often struggled to seat racially mixed grand juries.
Information from Austin American-Statesman