The Grand Jury has been a part of the California justice system since 1872.

Historically, the Grand Jury was selected from the citizens of the county who volunteered for the position, were nominated by a superior court judge, and then selected at random from the group of nominated volunteers.

The Grand Jury, as an institution, dates back to the time of the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century, and is embodied in the United States Bill of Rights, ratified as amendments to the United States Constitution in 1789.