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Massachusetts Delays Resumption Of Jury Trials

Massachusetts has delayed the resumption of jury trials until early next month.

The earliest potential start date for jury trials will be extended to Nov. 9, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey said in a statement last week. The delay comes amid a rising number of conformed cases of COVID-19 around the state.

The Supreme Judicial Court had authorized the first phase of the resumption of jury trials to begin no earlier than Oct. 23.

The Office of Jury Commissioner is canceling jurors summoned for the weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Trials scheduled prior to Nov. 9 will be rescheduled.

“We continue to review building systems to minimize any risk to jurors, court users and court staff,” Carey said. “We are following CDC guidance in terms of occupancy levels and want to take a few more weeks to prepare.”

Courts have been working toward the gradual resumption of jury trials. Plans call for conducting a limited number of trials at first, with six-person juries, in a designated number of courthouses.

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