ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Chief Judge Willie Lockette said that his employees are taking extra precautions to keep COVID-19 out of the courtroom.
The Dougherty County Judicial Building was one of the first government agencies in the Albany area to close down because of COVID-19 cases.
Now, six months later, Lockette announced that superior court grand jury trials will start back up again.
Because the courts were closed for so long, hundreds of cases were backed up.
“In our judicial circuit, for example, District Attorney Edwards reported last Friday that there are 250 to 300 unindicted cases that need to be presented to the grand jury for indictment. And that number continues to grow. The cases that need to be presented according to Mr. Edwards include some of the most violent and serious criminal offenses in our community, such as murder, armed robbery, street gang offenses and quite a number of others," said Lockette.
When people return to the courthouse for jury selection, they will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before they even enter the judicial building.
Once inside, they will be socially distanced, both in the jury selection room and in the courtroom.
Lockette also said that jury trials will not start back until there is an “okay” from state leaders.