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Connecticut criminal law attorney for jury trialsDue to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state courts in Connecticut have once again delayed the date when jury trials can resume. State trials had previously been scheduled to resume in November of 2020, but they were rescheduled to December 31, and following another delay, the dates for when they can resume are currently uncertain. Federal trials had been scheduled to resume on February 1, 2021, but that date has been delayed to May 3. These delays mean that those who are awaiting a trial on criminal charges will be forced to wait longer until their cases can be resolved. 

To address these delays, courts in some states have taken steps to conduct trials virtually using video conferencing software and other online tools. However, many criminal defense attorneys and criminal justice advocates have raised concerns about these types of trials, since they present a number of issues that may affect a person’s right to receive a fair trial.

Problems With Online Trials

To avoid the risks of conducting trials in person, video conferencing apps such as Zoom may be used, allowing attorneys, defendants, jurors, and other personnel to participate in a trial from a remote location. However, this presents a number of concerns related to the procedures that are followed during a trial and the ability of all parties to participate.

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victim, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyWhen a person is accused of committing a crime, he or she is afforded a number of rights. Most of them have their basis in the U.S. Constitution and the guarantee of due process of law. The Constitution, however, does not address each and every right that a person may or may not have and is rather silent regarding the rights of those who have been victimized by the accused’s alleged crimes. Thus, the rights of crime victims have long been a topic for debate in legal circles and among the general public. Last month, the Connecticut Supreme Court handed down a ruling one such disputed right—a ruling that has left some people concerned about the transparency of criminal legal proceedings.

An Ongoing Criminal Matter

The issue was brought before the state’s highest court as the result of a ruling by a lower court in a sexual assault case. The defendant—a 46-year-old former teacher’s aide—is charged with sex crimes related to an ongoing sexual relationship she allegedly had with a 15-year-old boy, beginning when the boy was under her care at a preschool. She is also charged with molesting the boy’s 16-year-old friend.

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