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Judges mull trial, jury selection changes over coronavirus concerns

Posted at 9:02 PM, Mar 12, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Judges at the Nueces County Courthouse discussed on the phone with members of Governor Abbott's Office and the Texas Supreme Court potential changes to trials, jury selection, and other courthouse activities in hopes of stopping the spread of coronavirus.

Jury selection, in particular, makes it mandatory for you to report to the courthouse which could expose you to crowds of people. Avoiding crowds is one tip the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers for avoiding the coronavirus and other diseases.

Nearly 200 people are expected at jury selection Monday. Many of them will spend time together in the courthouse's Central Jury Room.

Twenty Eighth District Court Judge Nanette Hasette came up with a plan of action she hoped would make it less likely for pathogens to be transmitted in the jury room, but she said those plans were scrapped when state leaders got involved in the discussions.

Corpus Christi residents had mixed reactions to news of possible changes to courthouse procedures.

"I don't think the county or the city should do that necessarily," Helen Peters said. "We're all responsible for our own actions."

"I don't think you should just freak out and stay home, and find an excuse not to go to jury duty," Ryan Boyd said.

Local leaders will meet again at 10:30 a.m. Friday on the fourth floor of the courthouse. KRIS 6 will have a crew there. If changes to jury selection, trials, or other courthouse activities are approved we'll let you know about them right here, on our mobile app, and in our newscasts.