Courts get creative to restart jury trials amid pandemic
Courts are beginning to hold jury trials again after the coronavirus shut down much of the criminal justice system. The proceedings are happening with added safety measures, but some attorneys say those precautions are insufficient and infringe on the constitutional rights of the accused. Many courts are mandating masks and screening people for fevers. Defense lawyers fear their clients won’t get a fair shot if distracted jurors struggle to focus on evidence or rush through deliberations to get home quickly. Others say masks make it impossible for jurors to assess a witness’ credibility because the coverings obscure facial expressions.