Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters is pleased to announce an agreement with Hamilton County Probate Judge Ralph Winkler for the use of his courtroom to restart the process of seating two grand juries.
The grand jury selection process is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 18TH. A minimum of 26 people are needed to seat both grand juries. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office does not have the space to socially distance two grand juries and to follow Governor DeWine’s orders so they reached out to Judge Winkler to use his courtroom. Using Judge Winkler’s courtroom allows both grand juries to be in the William Howard Taft Law Center at 230 E. Ninth Street with one grand jury in a space specially redone to allow for social distancing in the Prosecutor’s Office and the other in Judge Winkler’s courtroom.
“My Courtroom “A” provides a large, safe and secure environment for Prosecutor Joe Deters office to seat grand juries. The size of my courtroom provides the opportunity to safely enforce social distancing and crisis guidelines that will help protect and provide peace of mind for everyone. This move is cost-effective for the prosecutor’s office as well as my court and provides transparency to the residents of Hamilton County and ensures justice will not be delayed or denied.” – Judge Ralph Winkler
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented, “I want to thank Judge Winkler for the use of his courtroom. This allows us to have both grand juries in the same building which will make it convenient for the grand jurors, staff and witnesses.
We simply do not have the space in our office to run two grand juries and follow the Governor’s orders to keep everyone safe. We want everyone who comes to our office to feel safe and know that we are following all of the Governor’s orders.
We have a backlog of over 600 cases and even though the Ohio Supreme Court would still allow us to delay starting grand juries, I feel that it is important to the defendants charged, the victims of offenses and the entire community for us to hear these cases as quickly as possible.”