Delaware County: New jury pay state law could deplete this year’s court budget
Delaware County court officials are worried that a new state law increasing pay for jurors will deplete its current funds. IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports.
Beginning in July, jury pay will double in Indiana, from $40 a day to $80, plus additional money if a trial goes past five days.
The state has upped some court fees to help counties afford the increase. But Delaware County court administrator Emily Anderson says the county is seeing more jury trials and is worried this year’s money will run out.
“How many murders did we have last year? Thirteen murders. So we had a lot of murders that occurred. We had pandemic that we’re catching up from. I don’t know if it’s going to slow down, because we have jury trials stacked every week.”
County coroner Gavin Greene says the county is also seeing more drug dealers being charged for causing fatal overdoses.
“Our prosecutor is doing a fantastic job of now going after overdoses. So, we might have [cause of death] as an overdose, it not be homicide. [The prosecutor’s office] will convert it to a homicide.”
Anderson told the Delaware County Council she may also need more money before this year is out to pay for psychiatric fees for defendants needing mental health screenings before trial.