Could Zoom jury trials become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic?
In April, a Florida court held a bench trial over Zoom to decide a child abduction case under the Hague Convention. Later that month, the same state held a major virtual trial on the voting rights of convicted felons, with the public listening in by phone.
As criminal courts grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, some in the legal industry wonder whether a virtual jury trial could be next.
Just weeks ago, the idea might have seemed inconceivable. Now, as remote meetings using videoconferencing tools such as Zoom become a regular fixture in courts, some are concerned that virtual trials would deprive defendants of the constitutional right to confront witnesses, an impartial jury, due process of law and effective counsel.