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3 weeks after jury trials OK'd to resume, none have happened in Baton Rouge

3 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, August 04 2020 Aug 4, 2020 August 04, 2020 4:42 PM August 04, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- More unexpected delays have brought on continuances to trials that were scheduled to take place over the past three weeks.

A trial this week had to be postponed due to one of the people involved having COVID-19.

Each year, nearly 40 criminal trials are held in the 19th JDC. When the coronavirus crisis hit, trials effectively ceased.

But, with trials now cleared to resume, big changes have been made.

"Public defender's office, judges and lawyers have all been working to devise a plan," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "We are going to pick a jury in the jury assembly room where everyone can be spaced out, everyone will have a lapel microphone. So now, we will turn that into a courtroom where the jury will be picked."

Once a jury is picked, they'll be brought up to the 11th floor, in the largest courtroom in the building where jurors will once again be spaced out.

"We have weekly conference calls with other DA's and judges around the country to see how they are adapting, and we are taking it day by day and looking at the best practices," Moore said.

The jury administrator told WBRZ, at least 150 people have been summoned for jury duty each Monday for the remainder in August as trials resume.

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