During the COVID-19 pandemic judges across the country have been asking the same question: How can we safely provide access to justice? In March, Lynnwood Municipal Court suspended many hearings, holding court only for emergent matters. Jury trials were also suspended. Over the last couple of months, we have slowly expanded our operations and returned to a full schedule in August. The right to a jury trial is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and jury trials necessarily involve sacrifice from those citizens called upon to serve. This has always been true, but it is especially true during these unique and trying times.
Jury trials are necessary to the open administration of justice in the state of Washington. By order of the Washington State Supreme Court, all jury trials were postponed until at least July 6. The suspension of jury trials was needed to protect the health of court users and court staff, and it gave us the opportunity to redesign our jury process with the input of public health officials. It is now critical that we re-start jury trials, which are key to the fair administration of justice. As such, Lynnwood Municipal Court will be resuming jury trials in September. We hope you will be willing to answer the call to serve. Diverse juries are a critical component of justice. We want to assure you that every reasonable precaution will be taken to enhance the health and safety of all jurors, attorneys and Court staff during jury selection and the jury trial to follow.
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