According to the Charlotte Observer, federal courts in the Western District of North Carolina will resume holding jury trials this week. This decision by the Chief Judge of that federal judicial district has been roundly criticized by legal experts including, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who called the decision, “reckless and irresponsible.” We echo the sentiments of The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Jury trials are critical part of our criminal justice system and serve as a real and effective buffer between the power of the government and the citizen accused. But resuming jury trials in the middle of a pandemic will undoubtedly put people at risk and necessarily limit those who are willing to serve in jury. This is a dangerous and unfortunate decision and one we hope is not repeated in other districts or in our state courts.