Grand Jury Sessions Return To Berkshire Superior Court
On Thursday morning, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington appeared on WSBS's "Let's Talk" with Jesse Stewart as she announced that indictments for 15 defendants have been obtained when The Grand Jury reconvened at the end of June. Her office serves all 32 cities and towns in the Berkshires and has represented The Commonwealth in over 7,500 criminal cases as her team works closely with The State Police Detective Unit, local police departments and The Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force.
She recently stated:
"The Grand Jury process is vital to ensuring public safety while protecting the constitutional rights of the accused. We are grateful to the grand jurors for returning to court and considering The Commonwealth's evidence. I thank court personnel for working with my office to accommodate the resumption of Grand Jury. The safe resumption of jury trials should be among the priorities in reopening vital institutions shut down by COVID-19. The right to a jury trial is the cornerstone of our justice system and The Berkshire County District Attorney's office is committed to upholding due process of law and individual liberty. Both the accused and crime victims suffer from extended delays. The Berkshire County District Attorney's office is prepared to prosecute cases at trial and resuming the Grand Jury process should pave the way"
The Court has delayed all trials throughout the Bay State until at least September 8th. Courts were operating in limited fashion throughout the pandemic handling emergency matters as The Berkshire County District Attorney's Office was closed to all staff members since Marchand handled all matters virtually or through teleconference.
The office recently filed motions to continue pre-trial matters and implemented internal protocols that will limit opportunities for the virus to spread while still working with local and state law enforcement to protect the public. They are gradually re-opening as victims and witnesses are allowed to return for scheduled meetings as proper social distancing guidelines are strictly enforced.
Staff worked throughout the pandemic to protect victims and the community from dangerous individuals, providing avenues and meaningful support for those who are struggling as law enforcement has partnered with community based crime prevention units to enforce the law.
(The following information was obtained by WSBS via a press release courtesy of The Berkshire County's District Attorney's Office for on-air and on-line usage)