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Ky. set to resume courtroom proceedings, trials on June 1

The Kentucky legal system has more or less been shut down since March. That changes on June 1 when courtroom proceedings and trials will resume. (WKYT)
The Kentucky legal system has more or less been shut down since March. That changes on June 1 when courtroom proceedings and trials will resume. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 12:22 PM EDT
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The Kentucky legal system has more or less been shut down since March.

That changes on June 1 when courtroom proceedings and trials will resume.

Some limited legal proceedings have taken place, mostly over some kind of video system, but in-person cases will start back up next week.

Jackie Steele is the prosecutor for Knox and Laurel Counties and says the in-person trials will be a lot different.

Just calling a jury will be different, because in a jury trial you have more than 100 people crammed in a courtroom and then that number is slowly whittled down.

Steele says they will probably do jury selection over a longer period of time. Jurors will be required to wear masks and they will be more spread out. He said attorneys will not be required to wear masks but will have to keep their distance from one another. He says the masks will interfere with the courtroom recording system.

“We don’t have any courtrooms big enough to hold 80 to 100 to start jury selection," Steele said. "So, we believe jury selection will be done in stages.”

Because there has not been a trial or in-person proceeding since March there have been a lot of cases that have been delayed and pushed back months.

Each judge will be making rules for their individual courtroom based on direction from the state supreme court.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has also put some cost-cutting measures in place including a hiring freeze and suspension of all out of state travel to help offset the lack of funds coming through the court system.

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