Henderson County Aims To Protect High Risk Jurors

Criminal trials are set to resume in the coming weeks in Henderson County, if you've been selected for jury duty, fill out the jury selection form and list the reasons as to why you need to be excused, mail the form back to your county clerks office in Kentucky.

Posted: Sep 9, 2020 11:12 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2020 1:02 PM

A lot of municipalities are holding jury trials across the Tri-State, that means courts are expecting people to show up if they receive a jury summons.

"So there is a computer program that is run in Frankfort that picks people for jury selection" says Henderson County Circuit Court Clerk Herb McKee Jr.

If you're healthy and under the age of 65 COVID-19 will not get you off the hook from jury duty!

The Henderson County Circuit Court Clerk's office is working to keep those jurors at high risk safe.

"If they have health issues with breathing or their heart, if they are caring for somebody if they are in those high risk categories, those need to be explained on their jurors selection forms so we can address those issues" says Clerk McKee. 

Judge Karen L. Wilson has been on the bench in Henderson County for 13 years.

"The jury system is very vital, it is one of your most important civic duties" says Judge Wilson.

Since March when the COVID-19 pandemic began, criminal trails were put on hold in Henderson County. The jury selection process will resume before October.

"We probably will have a jury trial this month, we have got several procedures set up for safety" adds Judge WIlson.

Jurors will no long be able to handle physical evidence, they will view it on a television screen. Deliberation will be conducted in the courtroom for social distancing. Sanitation stations will be available. Members of the jury will space out throughout the courtroom.

"People will come up and they are already in their late 80's or 90's in age, those people I will go ahead and excuse" says Judge Wilson.

If are you chosen for jury duty and you do not follow the protocols put into place, there is a chance you could be held in contempt of court.

"I have never held anyone in contempt, they could be held in contempt if they're being outright disrespectful and contemptuous" adds Judge Wilson.

If you are excused from jury duty because you are high risk for COVID-19 you will have to make that time up in the next six months.

"Typically people are glad to fulfill their civic duty" Judge Wilson says.

If you have received a jury summons the clerks office says you must list your reasons as to why you should be excused and mail it back in so the judge can make a determination on your status.

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Our Tuesday was nothing short of chilly, gloomy, gray and wintry throughout the Tri-State; afternoon high temperatures only reached as high as the middle to low 30s throughout the region. Our peak temperature of 32° in Evansville was 16° below the norm for this time of the year. As for the evening ahead, cloud cover and cool air will linger - additionally, there have been reports of sporadic flurries on and off throughout the day and some portions in the Lower Ohio Valley may continue to see brief snow showers through 10 o’clock this evening. Our winds will shift southward overnight tonight into early Wednesday morning and while it won’t necessarily drive temperatures higher for the predawn hours, It will help keep temperatures from falling much further than where they currently stand. Extract the morning low temperature near 29° in Evansville as we kick off our midweek.
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