Jury trials have been suspended by Florida Supreme Court

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 4:18 AM EDT
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Jury trials across the state have been suspended after an ordered issued by the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Chief Justice Charles Canady says the order is in response to the "unprecedented challenge" facing the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

All state courts must cancel or postpone proceedings that are not essential. The types of trials that fall under this suspension include grand jury proceedings, jury selection proceedings and criminal and civil jury trials.

"We depend on human interaction to achieve justice under the law," Canady said in an advisory video. "We are working to maintain that interaction while also minimizing the spread of the virus."

The order also extends the suspension of speedy trials, which were already suspended in an earlier order. If a proceeding has commenced, the presiding judged can see it through, but only under the approval of a chief judge.

Jury trials will be suspended until April 17, but Canady has the clearance to extended this order or change it as needed.