County jury trials to resume
Jury trials in Marion County District Court, postponed since March to protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume soon.
Special accommodations will make it possible to protect jury members from exposure to the virus.
“Everyone knew we can’t postpone jury trials indefinitely and have people sitting in jail,” district judge Michael Powers said. “We want people to know we’re going to start having jury trials and keep people safe.”
The biggest issue was how to find a way jury members could deliberate after a trial without crowding them together into a small room, he said.
In Marion County, potential jurors will have to wear masks and be screened for the virus. Then they will be seated in designated spots.
They will be called to the jury box 12 at a time for the selection process. Three-sided Plexiglas shields will provide individual compartments for jurors.
After each group of potential jurors has been questioned, common areas will be disinfected.
During a trial, jurors will still be required to wear masks. They will remain in the courtroom, with all other people outside.
Last modified Oct. 7, 2020