Criminal cases could hinge on extending emergency order


Prosecutors are urging the governor and leading lawmakers to extend the ongoing emergency disaster declaration to avoid dismissing hundreds of criminal cases that stalled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state.

Without extending the declaration that expires Sept. 15, prosecutors will face the daunting task of moving a backlog of cases that could potentially be dismissed for failing to comply with speedy trial requirements.

"There are serious implications," said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.

"I'm not trying to be an alarmist. I'm trying to be real about this," he said. "When you shut down the court . . .


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