TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everything from schools, restaurants to sports, but what about the local court system.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb says he and Probate Judge Rob Robertson are trying to figure out what needs to be done in the courtroom to maintain safe social distancing and wearing facial covers when the District Attorney staff starts prosecuting jury trials five weeks from now.
“They are looking to rearrange the courtrooms, looking at different means of people communicating without a face mask perhaps using, instead, face shields in the courtroom and that kind of thing to make sure we can have trials and trials that are fair to the defendants,” Webb said.
Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Rob Robertson weighed in on the issue.
“The in-person hearings have resumed in district and circuit courts to start to get back to a normal docket,” Robertson said. “What’s coming up is trying to resume jury trials.”
Webb is not sure how prosecuting a jury trial will work out, but he is certain his staff will do the best job possible on every case to get justice.
“I can say this for our office, if we are trying a case I can’t imagine us not sitting shoulder to shoulder there at the table there working and engaging with one another to make sure we are doing our jobs the best we can,” Webb said.
Jury trials should begin September 14 at the Tuscaloosa County courthouse.