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Coronavirus in Texas

A Texas man was sent to trial with the coronavirus. Jurors weren’t told they were exposed until after deliberations ended.

From March until June, Texas had zero jury trials because of the pandemic, starting a backlog of cases that will take years to overcome. This summer some counties started experimenting with in-person jury trials, which have posed health risks for those involved.

Travis County Judge Nicholas Chu prepares for the nation’s first virtual criminal trial in a traffic case in August 2020.
Blue X’s marked half of the seats in the Brazos County courtroom during Teron Pratt’s trial.
Teron Pratt, left, and his defense attorney, Corey Cagle, listen to witness testimony in September 2020. Pratt’s trial was d…

A trial run

Seats in a Travis County courthouse are taped off to keep distance during proceedings.

The 2020 jury trial

Potter County held jury selection in an Embassy Suites ballroom next to the courthouse.

A patchwork of approaches

Delayed chaos

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