Lauderdale County judge explains importance of jury trials restarting


LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — Wednesday evening, a Lauderdale County jury found Derrick Turnley guilty in the murder of Jeffery Cherry in 2019.

It was the first jury trial to take place since March because of the pandemic.

This was the second time the courts have put a hold on jury trials in Lauderdale County until it was safe to do so.

Judge Gil Self said having trials resume is important in ensuring the judicial system maintains order.

“A jury term is when the fire gets hot in legal world,” Self said. “A lot of people, especially your old timers and seasoned attorneys, time is oftentimes to their advantage, and so they’re not going to resolve a case, or settle a case, or plea out in a case until the fire gets hot, and the fire gets hot when that jury is sitting in my jury box back there.”

Judge Self said the next Lauderdale County jury term begins in November.

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