Florida Jury News Archive
The 13th Judicial Circuit has suspended all in-person jury trials until AT LEAST March. Pre-trial proceedings will proceed virtually.
Shannon Schott, president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Northeast Chapter, says that prosecutor's offices need to be triaging cases to avoid "a complete collapse of the criminal justice system".
In response to rising COVID-19 numbers, jury trials have been suspended in Miami-Dade County until AT LEAST 1 February 2021.
In response to rising COVID-19 numbers, Chief Judge Krista Marx has suspended jury trials in Florida's 15th Circuit until AT LEAST 21 January 2021.
Trial by jury has been canceled through the end of 2020 in Marion County.
Jury selection for the circuit’s first first-degree murder trial is currently scheduled for 1 December 2020. Although the judge refused a delay requested by both the prosecution and defense on the basis that courtroom did not comply with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the trial was delayed anyway due to one of the attorneys possibly being exposed to COVID-19.
The president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers warns that it is not proving feasible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during in-person hearings in court. He says that defense attorneys are split on what to do in this situation. Some wish to go forward with trials to get their vulnerable clients out of the dangerous environments in prisons and jails. Others think it best to postpone trials, especially complicated ones that require more people in the courtroom and corresponding increased risk.
Florida's Criminal Justice Estimating Conference forecasts as of 20 November 2020, the massive backlog of pending felony cases in Florida will take until the end of FY 2023-24 to resolve.
Former Florida U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has filed a brief appealing her convictions after a juror who was voting not guilty was removed and replaced because another juror told the judge the dissenting juror said she had received guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Grand juries will continue to be held by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, but with grand jurors sequestered and meals provided to them while in the courthouse to reduce the risk of infection by COVID-19.