Wayne And Kent Counties Halt Jury Trials Until January
As coronavirus cases continue to surge in Michigan, two of the 5 biggest counties in the state have stopped jury trials until January 2021.
Technically, Kent County told WOOD TV8 that they haven't had any jury trials since the pandemic closed down the state back in March.
WOOD TV8 talked to Kent County Prosecutor, Chris Becker who said
“The backlog is tremendous. … They’re coming into the system, but they’re not necessarily going out."
Recently though, Wayne County, the other county that just halted jury trials had started them back up in late September but as Tim Kenny, Wayne County Circuit Court Cheif Judge told WOOD TV8 they changed their mind as cases are jumping up making it unsafe for jurors to be involved with the cases.
Wayne County is considered Michigan's largest county based on population, with Kent County ranking 4th largest.
WOOD TV8 also reports that Calhoun County has suspended jury trials until January 19 as well. They're not sure if that's when they'll be able to have jury trials but it's when the next session of jury sessions begins in 2021.
As prisons and jails have been in the news during the pandemic because of how quickly they become super-spreaders of the virus, as of November 2, 2020, PrisonPolicy.org reports that over the past couple of months Wayne County has been trying to limit the number of people in the jails. They report that sentencing judges in the county have released 384 people from the Wayne County Jail.