New safety precautions for Madison County Courthouse jurors, jury trials

Madison County jury trials resuming

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A notification to report for jury duty in Madison County could soon be coming your way.

Judge Ruth Ann Hall said the Madison County Courthouse is resuming their jury trials October 19th, but on a smaller scale than normal.

“Madison County residents are our family," Judge Hall said. "That’s our friends, so when I send out a juror summons my family may come.”

When jurors take their seats on October 19th and promise to be fair, they’re taking on more than just your average case. They will be the first jurors to walk into the Madison County Courthouse in months since jury trials stopped due to the pandemic.

Judge Ruth Ann Hall said the court is doing everything they can to keep these jurors healthy.

“We have rearranged the courtrooms," she said. "Separated the furniture in the courtrooms, we’ve installed plexiglass. We have designated seating to maintain social distancing.”

Another big change, juror questionnaires will now be completed online.

“We are trying to avoid you being there with 150 or 200 of your Madison County closest friends on Monday morning," Judge Hall said.

Judge Hall said when jurors report to the courthouse their group will be smaller.

“We are dividing the jurors into panels before they even get here because they are told the week before their service begins where to go."

Each person’s temperature will be checked using a thermal scanner. Judge Hall said with these precautions in place they feel ready.

“Other than exercising your right to vote, serving on a jury is probably the most important thing you can do as a United States citizen," Judge Hall said.

As for the delay on capital murder trials, Judge Hall elaborates more jurors are typically required in these types of cases, and that’s just something they don’t want to chance right now.

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