Jurors will be provided face shields for trials in Brazos County

Courtroom officials are taking extra precautions to keep staff, defendants and jurors safe.
Brazos County is preparing to resume jury trials after COVID-19 brought them to a halt in mid-March.
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 11:11 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Jury trials will soon resume in Brazos County and officials are hoping more citizens will respond to their jury summons, even if they ask to opt-out of serving due to health and safety concerns.

It’s been three months since an in-person jury trial has happened in the Brazos County Courthouse, but officials have developed a detailed plan for when those will resume. District Judge Steve Smith provided an update on those plans Monday at the health department’s briefing. Currently, hearings and proceedings are being held via video conferencing.

Mandatory masks, hand sanitizer, and assigned seating are some of the changes you’ll notice at the Brazos County Courthouse. Judge Smith said jurors will also be provided gloves for handling evidence and face shields they can wear during trials.

Judge Smith urged citizens to respond to a jury summons and made clear anyone not wanting to participate because of health reasons should still respond to the summons and speak with the jury coordinator about those concerns. He’s hoping others will step up and help out.

“What we’re asking them to do is no more different than what we’re asking them to do now and what they’ve been doing. Socially distancing, wearing their mask, and being careful and we hope everyone appreciates the need for us to get back to having jury trials,” said Judge Smith.

Click on the video player above to see the rest of the Judge’s remarks from Monday. You can also click here to see our previous story on preparations the county is taking to reopen the courthouse.

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