Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to release prisoners because of changes due to coronavirus

Coronavirus

Judge Brendan Sheehan says the jail population is at risk with the outbreak of the coronavirus.

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(WJW) — The administrative judge for Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court told the FOX 8 I-Team the court will hold an extraordinary session on Saturday aimed at reducing the number of inmates in the County Jail due to the coronavirus.

Judge Brendan Sheehan says the court will look for ways to release as many inmates as possible, “hundreds if we can.” He said there will be careful consideration of what kinds of cases are looked at.

Sheehan says the jail population is at risk with the outbreak of the coronavirus. He told the I-Team he feels this can be done without jeopardizing public safety.

He says the court is trying to get as many judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to hold pre-trial hearings on Saturday.

Those hearings will be aimed at looking for ways to resolve pending cases or come up with other ways for the inmates to be released. The inmates could also have their bond lowered to get out of jail; they could be put on house arrest; or, they could plead guilty and go to prison.

Judge Sheehan says next week judges will also hold four days of special hearings on cases that could possibly wrap up immediately with guilty pleas as another way to help clear out the jail.

The court has also postponed jury trials for a month to limit the number of people coming into the justice center.

The I-Team is still developing this story. We will have the latest on FOX 8 News and FOX8.com

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