With New Jersey’s state courts poised to resume jury trials for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, criminal defense lawyers are wondering if their clients will get a fair shake.

Jury trials will start in late September under a hybrid approach that combines virtual and face-to-face aspects, but the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey said the judiciary should let each defendant have the final say on whether to go to trial under modified procedures. The ACDL, which issued its list of recommendations to the Administrative Office of the Courts on Thursday, also expressed concerns that the jury trials will draw upon a pool of jurors that is less diverse than usual.

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