Suspended trials create backlog in Vanderburgh courtsJuly 13, 2020
By The Associated Press
EVANSVILLE — Jury trials being suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic means a backlog of cases, including in southwestern Indiana.
Currently around 180 defendants sit in jail awaiting trial in Vanderburgh Circuit Court, an 80-person increase prior to the pandemic, according to the Courier & Press.
Judge David Kiely estimated roughly another 90 individuals are in custody in Vanderburgh Superior Court awaiting trials.
“The Constitution provides the right to a jury trial,” Kiely said. “It’s always a concern when people are incarcerated, and they haven’t had their trial yet.”
Cases will start moving through the system again on July 20, but Kiely noted that it will take months before the backlog is cleared.
“Six months would be great, but do I think that’s realistic? I’m not sure,” he said. “It could be a year before we actually pick up the backup.”
In the meantime, County Council approved $25,000 in a transfer of funds last week to install a new computer system to enable video streaming in Kiely's courtroom. This will allow him to lock the doors and allow jurors to observe social distancing guidelines by spreading into the gallery. Court sessions would still be considered open because they could be watched in real-time online.
The new system will likely be set up in a month.
More on DuboisCountyHerald.com
The Indiana State Department of Health reported Thursday 50 new COVID-19 cases in Dubois County.
The Krempp Gallery at the Jasper Arts Center will present Owensboro, Kentucky, ink landscape...
The Indiana State Department of Health reported Wednesday 33 new COVID-19 cases in Dubois County.
Southwestern Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life recently received The Mal Atherton Award from...
Many organizations in the area help others enjoy the holidays or need help with fundraising and...
When Denny Spinner decided to run for mayor in 2011, he had three key words he wanted to...
The Indiana State Department of Health reported Tuesday another COVID-19-related death in Dubois...
Ken Buck has lived and breathed parks and recreation for the past 47 years.