TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – Florida’s Supreme Court has issued a statement saying the coronavirus outbreak has made jury trials unsafe at the moment, so there will be no jury trials will be held until at least July 2.
“In-person jury trials pose a special hazard because they can expose jurors and other courtroom participants to a risk of infection. Future extensions will be considered if needed,” said Florida Chief Justice Charles Canady in a statement.READ MORE: Florida Manatee Deaths Rise As Pollutants Kill Seagrass
Canady also said in an order Monday that more types of hearings and other court business would be conducted remotely. This includes non-jury trials if all parties agree, some arraignments, status and motion hearings, and pretrial conferences.
For first-degree murder cases, the new order suspends until July 2 some requirements for in-person preliminary hearings and a requirement that defendants be automatically released from custody if prosecutors are unable to file charges within 40 days.READ MORE: Confessed Parkland School Shooter Nikolas Cruz To Plead Guilty Wednesday To Massacre
Canady said a working group formed to tackle these issues sill make suggestions for remote procedures that can continue even after the pandemic is over.
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