Jury Trials

From the Brennan Center:

In-Person Jury Trials Resume in Some Jurisdictions with Social Distancing
After initially closing their doors to the public and suspending in-person proceedings due to the Covid-19, some courts have begun holding in-person jury trials with social distancing.
Oregon was one of the first states to resume in-person jury trials. For this first trial, the Multnomah County judge asked jurors to maintain distance throughout the process and provided masks but wearing them was optional. “There’s an inherent conflict between the rights of someone on trial and our social distancing policies,” said Dylan Potter, the defense attorney in the case. His client was found guilty.
California and Ohio have begun to hold in-person socially distanced jury trials as well. But other state courts have taken a different approach. Notably, Texas has experimented with remote jury trials. Last month, a judge in Collin County held a day-long civil trial over Zoom in which the verdict was nonbinding.
Both defenders and prosecutors have raised concerns with the use of virtual jury trials, citing evidentiary concerns, technology glitches, lack of privacy, among other drawbacks.

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