A scheduled jury trial set to begin in Floyd County Circuit Court was continued Monday, another trial that did not happen and an action that adds to be growing backlog of trials for the increasing backlog in a rural county where jury trials were once rare.
Jury trials were expected to increase in the Commonwealth after the legislature took sentencing away from juries and left put control under judges. Juries normally handed down harsher sentences while judges give more consideration to the Commonwealth’s more liberal “sentencing guidelines.”
Floyd County juries have handed down multiple life sentences in drug cases and against a child predator. Such sentences kept nervous defendants more willing to cut plea deals.
The continued jury trial on Monday gave me a receive from at least one day on the hard wooden benches of the gallery at Floyd County Circuit Court and, with hope, the remaining docket of probation violations, sentences, and plea bargains will result in a shorter time for those of us who cover trials for The Floyd Press.
There’s also hope for reprieves from the return of freezing temperatures and icy weather we faced Monday on the first day of what was supposed to be the start of Spring here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.
The thermometer is hovering around 20 degrees as this is written but the mercury is expected to climb into the 50s during the day to bring a warming trend that could into the 70s for the weekend.
Good. Our yard needs a lot of attention this Spring and some final attention is required to top off the replacement of aging PVC water pipes around our water heater and pressure tank.
Time for serious Spring cleaning, but also time for getting the cameras ready for new seasons of high school sports.