Jurors’ trauma

First you get hauled in by compulsory process, then you start having to look at the emergency room photos: “North Carolina is considering allowing jurors access to counseling services to cope with post-traumatic stress that can occur after exposure to graphic images and disturbing testimony during a trial.” (Molly McDonough, “Jurors ‘Haunted’ By Time in Courtroom,” ABA Journal, May 16).


  • Here in Washington such counseling services are already part of the jury system. I went through jury duty last week (luckily didn’t reach any trials). The orientation mentioned that counseling services after difficult cases are part of the “workmen’s comp” for jurors.

  • I did a homicide jury 30 years ago and can still remember the autopsy photos.

    Whenever the prosecutor walked past the evidence table, he shuffled the photos so we were starring at them.

    Whenever the defense attorneys handled evidence, the photos were left face down.

    We chucked at the gamesmanship.

    I was not scarred for life or anything though, but I can imagine trials that would have a much bigger impact.