Due to the Omicron surge, an administrative order by Chief Judge Joseph M. Getty went into effect on December 29 stopping all jury trials in Maryland through February 8. Data via Baltimore Witness showed that the Baltimore City Circuit Court had nearly 40 criminal jury trials related to homicide or non-fatal shootings on the docket during this time. These cases will have to be rescheduled for trial or resolved, reports Baltimore Fishbowl.
How does this impact defendants?
“If they want a jury trial, they will have to wait a little bit longer,” said defense attorney Roya Hanna, meaning her clients will have to remain in jail longer than expected. Defense attorney Andrea Jaskulsky said it’s likely defendants will have to wait until cases scheduled after February 8 take place before they can appear before a jury.
Anything else I should know?
Hanna and Jaskulsky acknowledged that some jail operations have been flexible in letting them speak to their clients more frequently via phone or video, since they can’t visit them in-person due to COVID restrictions.