Castaneda v. Partida
The question confronting the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1976 review of the criminal conviction of Rodrigo Partida was whether the grand jury that had indicted him had unconstitutionally been composed of an inadequate representation of Hispanics on the panel, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause prohibiting discrimination based on race and ethnicity. More generally, the issue concerned the adequate representation of citizens of racial and ethnic minorities in the determination of criminal guilt or innocence. Grand juries perform two functions. The first is to judge the strength of the prosecutor's case by examining the indictment and questioning witnesses about the alleged criminal action of the accused person. The second is to investigate wrongdoing based on its members' concerns or in regard to matters put before the grand jury by the judge who appointed it. Grand juries were a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in England. ...