Limited Jury Trials Begin In Virginia…First One In Henrico County
For the first time in more than six months a Virginia courtroom had jurors seated to hear a criminal case. The courtroom environment in the Henrico County courtroom was much different from what previous jurors experienced before the pandemic forced a statewide halt on jury trials. Each juror was given a cloth face mask and plastic shield. The jurors were seated in a jury box with plexiglass barriers that confined each jury seat. Mandatory breaks were given every two hours and the jury box was disinfected after each break. The jury began their deliberations for the two day trial in a large room equipped to provide plenty of space to accommodate social distancing measures for twelve people. The state’s Supreme Court gave the go ahead to eight localities in the commonwealth to resume jury trials after their safety plans were approved. So far no Southwest Virginia court has been given approval to conduct a jury trial in person.