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Lawyer says closed courts deny right to speedy trial

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by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — Everyone agrees there’s a problem in the Orleans County criminal justice system.  St. Johnsbury lawyer David Sleigh’s solution is to drop all charges against his clients.

During the COVID pandemic all the state’s courtrooms were closed and hearings were conducted online.  As the state has opened up, the courts followed suit in most places.

Orleans County, though, is an exception.  Officials of the state judiciary had already decided the Lee Emerson Courthouse on Main Street no longer suited its needs before the coronavirus struck.

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