Moratorium on jury service extended in Bexar County

Judge cites rising COVID-19 cases, deaths as reason for extension

SAN ANTONIO – Jury service in Bexar County which was suspended in mid-March over coronavirus fears will not resume until at least Sept. 30, according to an order issued this week by Local Administrative Judge Ron Rangel.

Rangel said the order does not apply to grand jury service or to jury summons sent to prospective jurors last month as part of a pilot project.

”It’s specifically for one case where the participants have agreed to actually have a virtual jury trial,” Rangel said.

The latest order applies to juries on which citizens serve in person at the courthouse.

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Rangel said recent local COVID-19 statistics prompted him to replace the existing order that will expire at the end of August.

”There’s a lot of folks in our community that’ve been stricken or passed away,” he said. “I think it’s important that we stay on top of this issue.”

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The challenge, Rangel said, is balancing public health concerns against a backlog of cases created by the moratorium.

”We want to make sure that we focus on those at the appropriate time in an appropriate way,” Rangel said. “And if that time needs to wait, then I’m prepared to do that.”

Rangel said his priority remains public safety.

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