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Jury trials set to resume downtown

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    A view from the judge’s chair shows the new-look interior of the courtrooms at the Baldwin County Courthouse, complete with a new series of technology upgrades. Jury trial proceedings will be available to the public on the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit’s

These certainly aren’t your parents’ or grandparents’ courtrooms.

A series of video cameras, 80-inch televisions and HD microphones recently were installed in each of the three fourth-floor courtrooms at the courthouse, as the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit prepares to resume jury trials early next month.

The new pandemic-friendly setup will allow jurors to spread out and socially distance, with some sitting in the jury box and some in the gallery. Members of the public and family members will not be allowed inside of the courtroom while jurors are present, but instead live access will be available through the circuit’s website – www.eighthdistrict.org

By clicking on the “Courtroom Live Streams” tab on the website, anyone will be able to watch live jury trial proceedings from anywhere. The format will be in “Zoom form” with four “Zoom squares,” with one camera focused on the judge, one on the witness stand, one on the defense’s table and one on the prosecution’s table.

Jury selection, meanwhile, will take place inside of the Walter B. Williams Jr. Park gymnasium, before the action moves back to the courthouse for the actual trials.