Local 10 News got exclusive tours of the circuit courts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties as they prepare to resume in-person trials.
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County, the largest circuit in Florida, is getting ready to resume in-person jury trials next month.
Temperature screenings and social distancing measures will be in place among the new safety measures, part of a “choreographed dance,” Eleventh Circuit Judge Andrea Wolfson says.
“The jurors are going to be greeted at least one, if not two, bailiffs,” she says, before being escorted to an elevator limited to two at a time.
“We are going to go through physical jury selection in this room so they can be socially distanced appropriately,” Wolfson says. “And you can see there is plexiglass between the judge and everyone else.”
Courtrooms are also reconfigured. Jurors will be in a larger seating area rather than the traditional juror box to allow more space.
A camera will give the public a window inside — via livestream.
During the pandemic, as courts moved to virtual hearings, hallways once brimming and buzzing with people sat eerily quiet. As they get ready to tip-toe back into in-person jury trials, the focus remains on safety.