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Trials decreasing in La Crosse County, on hold for now

Brad Williams

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When a Monroe County couple was sentenced last week for keeping their kids in cages, spectators filled two courtrooms in Sparta to maintain social distancing. 

But that kind of live court hearing has been rare in the last few months, with more cases being conducted by video. 

La Crosse County has held only 3 jury trials this year, and other pending trials have been placed on hold. 

Even before COVID hit, the number of local trials went down in the past year, from 35 in 2018 to 21 in 2019.    

County clerk of courts Pam Radtke says her staff is still working on ways to conduct trials where a jury can be in one place.  

One trial that was supposed to be held this week stems from a murder in January of 2019, and there’s no telling when it will happen now. 

Radtke says efforts are being made to furnish all six local courtrooms with video equipment, and    digital recording devices also are being installed, to make up for a shortage of human court reporters.    

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

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    Joe

    August 13, 2020 at 7:12 am

    the right to a speedy trial? hmmm… need to figure it out.

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