POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – It has been almost a year since a jury trial has been held in Idaho, but courtrooms could soon be opening their doors.
In the Sixth Judicial District, some big changes have been made to insure everyone stays safe and all of the protocols are met to insure the defendants rights.
In Bannock County, there is only one courtroom that is big enough to be configured for social distancing.
It has been redesigned and fitted with plexiglass panels for the actual trial, but the biggest change is that jury selection or voir dire will be held off-site at the Veterans Memorial Building because there is just not enough space to do it at the courthouse.
“It was venue scouting trying to find enough space because you need 25, 26 hundred square feet to really space people out,” Sixth District trial court administraotr Kerry Hong said. “So once we had the venues, we started bringing in the court participants to take a look and give feed back and tell us ‘What do you think about the acoustics in this place? How many mikes will we need? Where would be the best places to position the bench and then also position the council tables and the jurors?'”
Bannock County will hold its voir dire here at the Veterans Memorial Building.
In Oneida County, they are using a multi-purpose room at the fair grounds.
Bear Lake County is using the Oregon Trail Discovery Center Auditorium.
Caribou County is using the Grace High School Auditorium when students aren’t on campus, and so far, Power County has not determined a location.