DA: COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term effect on court system

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich says the effect coronavirus is having on our judicial system will be felt far beyond when the threat of the virus passes.

Jury trials have been suspended indefinitely in Mobile County as the courts are trying to avoid having large gatherings of people. It can already take months and sometimes even years for a case to go to trial. With this delay, Rich says the wait for justice is even longer for victims.

“It’s very frustrating. We certainly want these precautions to be in place, but for victims of crime it’s very frustrating because it means their case gets pushed back even farther,” said Rich.

The trials that have been postponed will get a new setting, but with an already full calendar for the court, it typically means those cases will go to the end of the line.

“That is so very unfortunate for victims,” said Rich.

With each week that passes, more trials are getting postponed. By the time the threat of COVID-19 passes, it could mean months of backlog for the Mobile County court system.

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*Maps provided by Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi Departments of Public Health

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