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Virginia Supreme Court Lets Richmond Resume Jury Trials

Front edifice of courthouse
Trials have resumed in Richmond courts, after a long hiatus due to coronavirus. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Jury trials are resuming in several localities across the state. A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Virginia has approved reopening plans for eight circuit courts, including the City of Richmond.  More than 100 plans have been submitted to the court for approval.

Richmond was cleared to begin trials on Friday. The city’s plan is to work through a backlog of criminal jury trials before moving to civil cases.

Localities wishing to resume trials are required to describe how and when the courts could safely conduct jury trials, including plans for enhanced cleaning and physical distancing.

Henrico Circuit Court was the first in the state to conduct a criminal jury trial since the start of the pandemic six months ago.

The pandemic prompted the Supreme Court to halt all jury trials as part of the court’s larger declaration of judicial emergency. 

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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