Author: Angel Reyes  

In The News

A grand total of zero juror trials have taken place in New Orleans, Louisiana due to the simple fact that potential jurors are failing to show up. The Parish of Orleans, typically known as the state’s busiest courthouse, has not been able to convene for criminal court trials since the COVID-19 pandemic began last summer. Criminal court trials require a total of twelve jurors to sit on the bench of a legal proceeding, but the city of New Orleans is reporting less than twenty percent of citizens actually report for duty.

Lack of Communication

According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche says that there is no reason why jury trials have not been able to convene. In comparison to Jefferson Parish, where the courthouse has already seen and settled eighteen jury trials since April of this year. Goyeneche’s hunch is that New Orleans is suffering from a lack of communication, and that accurate information is not reaching within the community.

In several circumstances, the court mails out 100 – 250 notices at a time, while less than thirty citizens appear in court. Claims say this is due widely in proportion to the delayed mail delivery the country is experiencing, COVID-19 and, most recently, Hurricane Ida.

Local Responsibility

In light of criminal defense lawyer John Fuller’s frustration, Fuller urges the citizens of his community to be both responsible and sensitive to the particulars of the United State’s criminal justice system. Fuller reminds neighbors that the lack of citizens showing up for jury duty not only affects the defendants, but also the victims and the right to a speedy trial.

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