Construction Approved on Benton County Courthouse - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Construction Approved on Benton County Courthouse

Kennewick, Wash. - Courtrooms at the Benton County Justice Center are packed.  With the growing population, there are too many hearings and not enough room to have them.

Next week, there are 13 trials ready to be heard starting on Monday.  However, with only two court rooms to hear them in there is a growing backlog.

Many judges and attorneys are ready to hear those trials, but they have to postpone or continue the trials to another date simply because there is no where for them to be heard.

There are several courtrooms in the justice center but only two are made to seat a jury of 12.

The lack of space can also be difficult during trials when both families of victims and defendants have to sit together along with the media.

Two out of three Benton County Commissioners recently voted to approve the additional 1.5 million dollars needed to go ahead with the construction of new court rooms.  

Many law enforcement officials said the spending is necessary in order to keep the criminal justice system functioning in Benton County.