Court backlog creates challenges for Bexar County district attorney

DA encourages prosecutors to consider plea bargains

SAN ANTONIO – The number of court cases awaiting trial continues to grow at an alarming rate, and Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales is wrestling with ways to resolve the cases.

It has been almost a year since a moratorium on jury service was ordered due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Absent jury trials, Gonzales has pre-trial diversions and plea bargains among his options for resolving cases.

“I’ve been encouraging our prosecutors to look at cases, to take a closer look at those cases, to see if there’s any potential to resolve them with a plea bargain,” Gonzales said Tuesday.

He added, however, that plea bargains are often a challenge.

“It takes all parties,” Gonzales said. “It takes the willingness of defense attorneys, the willingness of the accused and the willingness of courts to work with us.”

Another issue Gonzales said he must deal with is contacting victims.

“Our biggest problem is some of them, over time, lose interest,” he said. “They may move away, so we’re trying to keep in contact with them, and we’re basically telling them to hold on.”

“To those victims that we haven’t been able to reach, please don’t think that we’ve forgotten about you.”


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