The following A.O. is drawing some serious criticism behind the scenes.
A few observations and concerns:
- Will it result in racial profiling?
- Instead of an outright ban, why isn’t there an alternative remote system or location in place for access to courts?
- Has this already been done anywhere else in the United States during the ongoing crisis, or in the past concerning other outbreaks?
- If concerns are high, why not close the courts completely as Broward is cruise ship central and home to a large elderly population, if in-custody defendants can be addressed remotely for release purposes?
- If closure is not appropriate, and if trials requiring jurors haven’t already been suspended, why not?
“I try to work closely with county government. Ultimately the statutes give me the power to close a courthouse but we rarely do that unless we’ve talked to all of our stakeholders who work in this building,” (Jack) Tuter said. “I think people should continue to operate in the courthouse the way we’ve done in the past. If we do think there is some kind of emergency, we’re going to let everybody know. We’re going to be as transparent as we can. But until then, everyone should just conduct business as usual.”