The Dimond Courthouse in Juneau, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

The Dimond Courthouse in Juneau, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2019. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Misdemeanor jury trials postponed until December due to coronavirus

The high infection rate prompted the push to the right.

Misdemeanor jury trials held in Juneau’s courts will be suspended until at least Nov. 30 due to coronavirus concerns, according to the presiding judge of the First Judicial District.

“Misdemeanor jury trials held in Juneau are suspended until at least November 30, 2020 due to the daily COVID-19 case count summary from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for Juneau, which exceeds the 20-25 cases per 100,000 population case count referenced in Special Order No. 8202, and the recent trend of the case count in Juneau,” wrote presiding judge Trevor Stephens.

More orders suspending misdemeanor jury trials in other District One may be forthcoming if the coronavirus situation warrants it, Stephens wrote.

“The district court jurisdiction was given permission to start trials in November,” said area court administrator James Kwon in an email. “However, much of the court’s activity has been fluid, based on the COVID-19 case counts and situations in every court locale and the respective community.”

Felony jury trials are currently scheduled to restart in January, depending on the status of the coronavirus spread.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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