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Jury trials resume in Iowa

Jury trials were originally suspended in March, which was followed by another suspension in November.

Jury trials in Iowa resume Monday after a pause was put in place in November. They were temporarily suspended again due to concerns over COVID-19

It was the second time since March that jury trials had been suspended.

It is important to be sure everyone receives their constitutional right to a speedy trial by jury, which is why the Jury Trial Task Force was put in place to be sure juries can serve safely in Iowa's courthouses. 

"Jury trials really are the cornerstone of our judicial system, in our democracy and. now that we have these protocols in place that they've been tested, and the positivity rates are being monitored," co-chair of the task force Guy Cook said. "It's time to restart the jury trials."

To ensure a healthy environment for jurors called to serve, measures have been put in place such as social distancing, COVID screening and strict cleaning requirements.

"We need to make sure that if we're requiring jury members to come in and perform their service that we can try to provide for their safety, while also making sure that we're providing a very fair jury process for the participants," co-chair Matt McDermott said.

In larger counties, they will be using additional rooms for things like jury selection.

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