Courts dramatically rethink the jury trial in the era of the coronavirus

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Courts dramatically rethink the jury trial in the era of the coronavirus

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One of the consequences of a huge Covid outbreak in the U.S. is the halt of court proceedings, especially criminal trials. While many proceedings have been conducted virtually, the trial by a jury of your peers has not in most cases. Washington D.C. and nine states have postponed jury trials indefinitely. This has consequences for those awaiting trial, especially anyone awaiting trial from a jail cell. Courts have considered installing HEPA filters, having everyone wear masks, installing plexiglass, putting the jury out in the gallery to allow for proper social distancing but even with all of these mitigation efforts there is still a problem because jury service is compulsory and many don't feel safe performing their civic duty. Still other problems include jurors having to afford child care because their children are not in school due to Covid. This can limit the jury pool.
court, trial, jury, PPE, mask, social distancing, fair trial, speedy trial, habeas corpus, child care, costs

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The Washington Post

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This item was submitted on August 3, 2020 by Chris Twing using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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