PORTLAND, Maine — Officials with Maine’s judicial branch say there won’t be any jury trials the final two weeks of December in an effort to cut costs.
Judicial system spokeswoman Mary Ann Lynch told the Portland Press Herald the freeze on trials will defer about $20,000 in jurors’ pay and mileage. But she said there are few other options available to trim costs during this fiscal year, which began July 1, and that the court system doesn’t have enough money to operate the way it should.
Lawyer Walter McKee of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said freezing jury trials raises concerns about the constitutional rights of defendants. He said pushing back trial dates means longer waits in jail for people awaiting trial.