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Jury trials to resume in January

Jury trials in Lamar superior court will resume in Lamar superior court in January after the statewide suspension on them was lifted last week by chief justice Harold Melton of the state supreme court. Judge Melton noted the right to a fair and speedy trial is guaranteed in the Constitution. ‘To delay that process has made a difficult time more difficult for everybody involved in our justice system – litigants, victims, witnesses, judges and jurors,’ Judge Melton wrote in his order. Towaliga circuit district attorney Jonathan Adams reported his office will stick with the existing schedule. The grand jury in Butts County will be called this month with Monroe in November and Lamar in December. Jury trials will resume the month following the calling of the grand jury in each county. ’In Lamar County, we will use the commissioners’ chambers for the jury room and, instead of the jury box, we will use the chairs on the other side of the courtroom to spread out the jury. The circuit has formed a committee to create protocols for trials and everyone will be in masks,’ Adams concluded.

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