The Cook County Circuit Court will resume jury trial starting in late March with precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans made the announcement Wednesday, nearly a year after he suspended jury trials last March at the beginning of the pandemic.
“The right to a trial by jury is a cornerstone of our democracy, and jury service is one of the most important things that you can do as a citizen,” Evans said in letters to prospective jurors, which are arriving along with jury summonses in mailboxes this week.
The target dates for the first criminal jury trials are March 22 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on 26th Street and March 29 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.
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More than one courtroom will be used for each trial to achieve social distancing, with one courtroom for the trial itself, another for jury deliberations and a third for a livestream broadcast of the trial for members of the public, Evans’ office said in a statement.