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Jury Trials in Alabama set to resume September 14th

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 at 6:22 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Jury trials in Alabama have been on hold since the beginning of the pandemic in March. Now, they’re finally set to resume on September 14th.

WAFF talked with two attorneys who say jury selection will start this week.

“This will be the first time in history for the state of Alabama that jurors will be able to go online and answer qualification questions. In other words there won’t be 300 people getting together on Monday morning to answer certain questions to decide who can and who cannot be jurors,” said attorney Mark McDaniel.

Attorney Mark McDaniel represents Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely who faces theft and other criminal charges.

Selecting a jury online isn’t the only first for the state of Alabama. McDaniel says having jury trials on hold for several months because of the pandemic is another first.

“I’ve practiced law for 43 years. I’ve never seen a situation where jury trials have been suspended like this. I’m thankful they were, and they needed to be, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” said McDaniel.

Attorneys say their clients have suffered long enough and they’re were ready to return to the courtroom.

“Since the Alabama Supreme Court suspended jury trials they are frustrated, their criminal victims and families of criminal victims. They often feel victimized by this, they think they’re going to get a day in court and then something happens and it gets postponed,” said attorney Tommy James.

McDaniel says his team is ready to get back to work, and hopes the jury trial will start up soon, once they’re allowed.

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