Jurors in murder trial must be vaccinated to prevent potential mistrial caused by COVID-19, judge says – CBC

B.C. Supreme Court justice says ‘it would be a travesty to find this trial derailed’ by an outbreak

Oct 04, 2021

Worries about a COVID-19 outbreak leading to a mistrial in a first-degree murder case have led a B.C. judge to rule that all jurors must be fully vaccinated.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice James Williams made the ruling last week, expressing concern that surging transmission puts the safety of everyone in the courtroom at risk.

“It would be a wholly unfortunate outcome for members of the jury or others who are involved in this process to become infected by the COVID-19 virus in the course of the trial,” Williams wrote.

“Similarly, it would be a travesty to find this trial derailed and having to be brought to a premature conclusion — a mistrial — because COVID-19 infection had rendered participants, whether jurors, counsel, staff or anyone else involved, unable to continue.”

The trial of Alvaro Julio Roche Garcia began Monday in Vancouver. He is accused of shooting 68-year-old Zenen Cepeda Silva to death in Vancouver in January 2019.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-murder-trial-jurors-vaccinated-1.6199650

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