ST. LOUIS – Efforts to resume jury trials in St. Louis City have seen a setback. A second prospective juror in an upcoming trial has tested positive for COVID-19. That person was in court on Wednesday, April 14. The other people in the jury pool from that day have been notified.
A similar event happened during jury selection Friday, April 16. All 40 of those possible jurors were dismissed.
Jury trials started back up again in the city in March.
In St. Louis County, jury trials resumed on Monday, April 12.
St. Louis County is taking several measures to ensure the safety and health of all involved with a jury trial. Employees, judges, outside attorneys, litigants or jurors who enter the courthouse will have to have their temperature taken, wear a mask and keep social distancing. They will use three courtrooms for each trial and separate spectators, families, and witnesses by using a video feed. They’ve added a plastic shield to separate the judge, attorneys, bailiff stations, and the court reporter. Each courtroom will be sanitized daily, and witness tables and microphones will be wiped down between each speaker.
The US Constitution and Missouri law both guarantee the accused a speedy trial. Because time limits for a speedy trial were exceeded during the pandemic, About 100 cases are scheduled to go to trial in the coming months.