Since mid-March 2020, the Alaska Court System has coped with the public health risk of the COVID-19 pandemic by delaying court proceedings. Altogether, the presiding judge has issued seven orders. The latest, Order No. 7, was issued August 27. It staggered the start dates of trials set to begin. Examples: trial calls currently set for September 2 were continued to October 27. Those set for September 23 were continued until November 18. Pre-trial conferences had a similar bracket of continuations. Find the full list here.
Delays like these are unprecedented. As Bethel attorney Myron Angstom told the Anchorage Daily News in March, “For criminal cases, “you’re balancing someone’s right to a speedy trial with a bunch of people’s right to remain free from significant illness. That’s a pretty tough call.”
In today’s Justice Alaska on Hometown Alaska, District Court Judge Kari McCrea will detail how the court has adjusted to dealing with the pandemic, and how it affects the everyday role and activities of a sitting judge.
McCrea was appointed to the District Court by former Gov. Bill Walker in September 2018. Prior to that she had served as a public defender in Bethel for seven years, and as a magistrate judge in Anchorage for three years.
HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy and Elaine Andrews
- Judge Kari McCrea, District Judge, Third Judicial District, Anchorage
- COVID-19 response page, Alaska Court System website
- Changes about Filings and Hearings, FAQ, Alaska Court System website
- How Alaska Courts wrestle with COVID-19 constraints, Hometown Alaska, 4.16.2020
- Deputy Presiding Judge Order No. 7, PDF, Alaska Court System website
- Alaska Supreme Court Orders Sweeping Changes to how the Courts run during the coronavirus pandemic, Anchorage Daily News, March 23, 2020.
- COVID resources, Alaska Law Help.org
- Alaska Court System Facebook page
- Alaska Court System Twitter feed
- COVID-19 Small Business/Nonprofit Legal Clinic, Alaska Legal Services Corporation with pro bono help from Perkins Coie and Lawyers for Good Government, 45-minute free consultation registration page
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- LIVE: Monday, September 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m
- RE-AIR: Monday, September 21, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.