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Jury Management Advisory Committee Report and Recommendations on the Resumption of Jury Trials

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court asked the Jury Management Advisory Committee (JMAC) to provide guidance on how to recommence jury trials in Massachusetts courts in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jury Management Advisory Committee Report and Recommendations

On July 31, 2020, the Jury Management Advisory Committee (JMAC) of the Supreme Judicial Court submitted its Report and Recommendations to on the Resumption of Jury Trials in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court.

Background

Jury trials in Massachusetts state courts have been postponed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The justices of the SJC asked the Committee to provide guidance on how to recommence jury trials in Massachusetts courts, and the JMAC report responded to that mandate.

The Committee consulted with public health officials, bar associations, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and others in developing their report, which sought to balance the need to resume jury trials with the need to protect the health and safety of jurors, litigants, lawyers, court personnel and the public. 

The Committee's comprehensive report included recommendations for a phased resumption of jury trials, and outlined recommended practices for each phase.

Response to Public Comments on the JMAC Report

On September 1, 2020, the JMAC submitted to the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court a Response to Public Comments on the Report of the Jury Management Advisory Committee on the Resumption of Jury Trials in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Background

Before acting on the report, the SJC invited public comments on the proposed recommendations. Comments were accepted by the court through August 14, 2020. Read the public comments submitted to the court.

Jury Management Advisory Committee

The JMAC, a statutory committee made up of six judges, advises the SJC and the Jury Commissioner on issues relating to juries. 

Learn more about the Committee

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