USA: As coronavirus fears bear down on Philly courts and jails, DA Krasner rethinks bail, charging

It starts . The process of law will be severely affected in the coming weeks. This is the first of many articles we’ll see on the subject from around the world

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports….

As the number of known coronavirus cases in Philadelphia reached eight Sunday, double Saturday’s total, prosecutors and defense lawyers expressed grave concerns about returning Monday morning to Philadelphia’s criminal courthouse, known for its crowded jury room, packed elevators and cramped courtrooms.

Unlike a growing number of other jurisdictions, Philadelphia’s First Judicial District is so far keeping courts open for business, and even calling jurors to report for duty.

On Sunday, the Defenders Union wrote a letter pleading with the courts to rethink those plans, sharply reduce the number of people in jails and juvenile placement facilities, and move to a “full shutdown of court operations, including preliminary hearings, trials, violations hearings, and status listings.”

And District Attorney Larry Krasner confirmed that his office is already revising its policies around charging and bail, acting in a growing recognition that the coronavirus poses a very real public safety problem.