A court in Travis County, Texas, is holding the first virtual jury trial in a U.S. criminal case.
The case, which began Tuesday morning, used Zoom to communicate with jurors while they were trained on how to use the video-conferencing tool. The case is being broadcast on YouTube to show others how to hold a virtual jury trial.
Judge Nicholas Chu reminded jurors that their duty was still serious, warning them to avoid Google searches about the case and posting on social media about their experience, ABC News noted. Chu also asked for patience during technical difficulties.
“You’re here today for jury duty in a different way," Chu said to jurors. "That’s jury duty by Zoom.”
The case involves an Austin-area woman accused of speeding in a construction zone.
The justice system has been weighed down by case overload that was further hampered by the coronavirus shutdowns. Now with the Zoom option, the court system may be able to handle some of the backlog as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the country.
Texas has held less than 10 jury trials since the state courts resumed in-person proceedings in June, Megan LaVoie, a spokeswoman for the state individual branch told ABC News.