Jury trials are restarting in LA. How everyone is staying safe and handling a backlog of cases

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Now some jury trials have resumed during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s partly to grant clients the right to a speedy trial, but also to help offload the overwhelming backlog of cases. Photo by Pixabay.

LA County Superior Court has struggled to maintain due process, while trying to keep all the players in the courts safe and healthy during COVID-19. At first, all jury trials were suspended. But now some have resumed. That’s partly to grant clients the right to a speedy trial, but also to help offload the overwhelming backlog of cases.  

Many LA County public defenders are staring down the barrel of insurmountable caseloads, stress, fears of getting COVID, and trying to uphold the law for their clients. And now they are voicing it.

KCRW hears from Nikhil Ramnaney, an LA County public defender and president of the public defender union.

Credits

Guest:
Nikhil Ramnaney - President of Local 148, the union representing LA County Public Defenders, public defender in Long Beach court

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Kevin Tidmarsh