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Boulder County has once again resumed trials this week, marking the end of a four-month hiatus due to the coronavirus.

March marks almost a year since trials were first halted in the early days of the pandemic. Trials resumed in the summer, but a resurgence in cases led Boulder Chief Judge Ingrid Bakke to stop them again in November.

But this week, both county and district court trials resumed, though Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the courts would limit the amount of trials to start.

“I’m very excited for trials to get underway this week,” Dougherty said. “Since our top priority is community safety, trials are a key part of us being able to achieve justice in every case.”

Dougherty said courts will return with most of the same health measures it put in place when trials returned in the summer. He said attorneys and judges have been consulting with local health officials.

“We’ve worked closely with them to make sure health and safety protocols are in place to protect everyone who comes in,” Dougherty said.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys have been clamoring to resume trials, as the lengthy delays due to the pandemic have created a large backlog of cases and a host of possible legal issues.

In Boulder County, there are 113 felony jury trials scheduled for the next 100 days.

“This is the beginning of us getting through this tremendous backlog and allowing the justice system to function,” Dougherty said.

But even at a slow pace, Dougherty said trials resuming at all will help in resolving cases that wind up not going to trial.

“Having the prospect of trials is a key part of justice system working the way it should,” Dougherty said.