Mass. trial courts to decrease jurors in pool, prioritize certain cases amid COVID-19 surge
December 30, 2021
By Sarah Betancourt
Amid surging coronavirus rates, Massachusetts’ trial court system will make changes to which cases it hears, and how many jurors it calls up in January.
The silver lining to some is that the trial system’s move to prioritize cases where people are already incarcerated could expedite their potential freedom. Elizabeth Matos, director of Prisoners Legal Services, said prisoners should be sent home to wait for their day in court, but if that’s not going to happen, this is a good step for prisoners to stay safe from COVID-19.
“We don’t want people lingering in jail for prolonged periods of time without trials happening, when people who are pretrial are supposed to be getting a speedy trial,” she said. Remaining incarcerated increases their risk of exposure, she added.