Justice is blind — and now it is also socially-distanced.
The city this week began its first jury criminal trial since the coronavirus pandemic forced courts to shut down more than seven months ago.
Defendant Demetre Cornish, 35, sat at a plexiglass-enclosed defense table Thursday next to his defense lawyer, Thomas Kenniff, at his Manhattan Supreme Court trial, where he’s charged with possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of a controlled substance and other raps. There was also a partition between the attorney and his client.
The prosecution’s table, the judge, the court reporter and the witness box were similarly shielded on three sides by transparent plastic — while the jurors were socially distanced in the gallery.
All parties in the courtroom wore face masks.
“Much of being a trial lawyer has to do with reading people’s faces, seeing jurors’ expressions, reading a witness’ body language, and that all becomes much more difficult when people are speaking from behind face masks and plexiglass partitions,” Kenniff told The Post.
Cornish was allegedly busted Aug. 7, 2019, inside a residence on W. 115th St. with a loaded .357 caliber Rossi revolver, 35 baggies of crack cocaine and rocks of crystal methamphetamine.
Summations in the case are expected Friday.
Queens and the Bronx plan to resume jury trials next Monday, according to the Office of Court Administration.
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