Oregon moves to have grand jury testimony recorded

Rep. Diego Hernandez urged passage of the bill

A jury box in a courtroom (2015, AP)
A jury box in a courtroom (2015, AP)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — After hearing emotional comments from several lawmakers, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that will see grand jury testimony recorded for the first time in the state.

Proponents say this will increase transparency and justice.

Members of the House approved the bill Friday by a 34-26 vote, three days after the Senate passed it.

Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, told his colleagues he would try not to get emotional as he stood up and described the death of 17-year-old Quanice Hayes, who was unarmed and on his knees, when he was shot three times by a police officer in February. A grand jury decided not to criminally charge the officer.

Hernandez said recordings of the proceedings would increase confidence among people of color in the justice system.