ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Greg Edwards, the district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit, has weighed in on Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton issuing a statewide judicial emergency order suspending all jury and grand jury trials in Georgia indefinitely.
The order postpones Doughtery County trials for homicides, rape and other cases.
Edwards thinks the county could have safely carried out grand juries.
“And we think we could do it further, but like I said, the general order is comprehensive for everybody in the state so that there won’t be any, I guess, instances where people are trying to move forward when maybe they shouldn’t,” said Edwards.
Edwards said in the meantime, his staff is still working outside of the courtroom doing work that doesn’t require a jury.
No date has been released on when jury trials will start back in Georgia.
Edwards said there will be long-term effects from this and that some tough calls will have to be made, especially for prosecutors when trials start back.
“Gotta prioritize, it has to be done and we’re gonna have to do it,” said D.A. Edwards.
Edwards said this impacts around 500 people in jail right now and “most people in jail are pre-trial detainees. That means they are awaiting trial.”
If your friend or family member is one of these people, Edwards wants you to hear his message.
“Everybody wants to move forward, so everybody must understand that. Of course, the life and safety of the people who make these decisions, that is jurors, has to be prioritized,” said Edwards.