Report details Texas jury trials during COVID-19 pandemic
The Office of Court Administration (OCA) released its report on Jury Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic today as required by the Supreme Court of Texas’ Twenty-Second Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. The report contains observations from the 20 jury trials held in the state since March 2020, including details from the nation’s first virtual criminal jury trial.
“A hallmark of our justice system is the right to a jury trial,” said Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. “The pandemic has challenged our ability to safely deliver on that promise, but through the efforts of many Texas judges, clerks, court staff, and attorneys over the past few months, today we have a roadmap to resuming those jury trials, even if that roadmap will be restricted to ensure the health and safety of the public. My colleagues and I look forward to reviewing the recommendations made by OCA today.”