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All jury trials in Colorado suspended through at least June 1 because of coronavirus

The order was issued by Chief Justice Nathan Coats

Colorado Court of Appeals courtroom. At the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, on the first floor, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jeffrey Beall, via Flickr)
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The Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday, citing the ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus, suspended all jury trials across the state until at least June 1.

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The order was issued by Chief Justice Nathan Coats. He cited the “practical limitations on assembling a jury pool.”

“No person shall be required to report for jury service in a state court before June 1,” Coats wrote in his order.

Jury calls were already suspended until May 15, but with the exception of criminal trials facing speedy trial deadlines. Coats order Thursday extended that suspension and eliminated the exception, according to a spokesman for the state’s judicial system.

Coloradans are under a stay-at-home order until at least April 26. The coronavirus continues to spread in the state. So far there have been more than 8,600 confirmed cases and at least 374 deaths.

“To my knowledge, there are currently no jury trials underway,” said Rob McCallum, the spokesman for the state’s judicial system.

But cases have been ongoing, McCallum said, just not in the jury trial phase.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has been as disruptive to Colorado’s criminal justice system as it has been every other aspect of life. Courthouses have been shut down because of infected attorneys in Denver and Pueblo.

Earlier this week, a mistrial was declared in the high-profile, Adams County case against Dreion Martise Dearing, who is accused of murdering a sheriff’s deputy in 2018. The decision was made, at least in part, because of coronavirus.

And if you’re wondering what the order means for you if you’ve received a jury summons, you don’t have to show up if you were called to court before June 1.