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Coronavirus

Vermont Plans 1st Jury Trials Since Pandemic Hit

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Vermont is preparing to hold its first jury trials since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.

Jury draws were planned Monday for a number of cases in Windham County criminal court. Among them are cases involving drug crimes. According to court documents, social distancing and masking will be part of the proceedings.

Vermont Chief Superior Judge Brian Grearson told the Brattleboro Reformer that the judiciary picked cases that were not very complicated, meaning they did not involve a large number of witnesses and could be tried within a couple of days because of the virus-related protocols.

An upgrade to the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system for proper airflow could lead to fluctuating temperatures, according to a court flyer sent to jurors.

The trial arrangements were planned in consultation with an infectious disease expert to comply with virus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Vermont Health Department, the newspaper reported.

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