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Court Closures Could Mean Delayed Justice for Innocent Inmates, WCTV

Jury trials have been suspended in Florida due to hurricanes in the past, but Tallahassee partner Richard Greenberg talks with WCTV about how the now three-month delay for COVID-19 is different.

In a story that aired on WCTV in Tallahassee on April 7, 2020, Greenberg said, ““People sitting in jail are very, very concerned. Every week it seems like the deadlines are being pushed back.”

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered all jury trials in the state suspended until the June, extending a previous order by two months. Normally, those charged with a misdemeanor have the right to a trial within 90 days and those with felony charges 175, but under the order those rights have been waived.

Greenberg hopes the state finds other solutions, like non-monetary bond for nonviolent offenders. “They may be able to get arrested and booked and released. They don’t have to sit in jail because they can’t afford to post bond,” said Greenberg.

So far, the Governor has not expressed support for early inmate release or any executive action that could provide alternatives to monetary bond.

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