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Jurors in Conn. Home Invasion Case Offered Counseling

Via Al Nye the Lawyer Guy, I was pointed to an Associated Press article about a Connecticut court offering counseling to jurors who had served in a particularly horrifying home invasion trial.

The article describes the nightmares experienced by one of the jurors after hearing testimony -- and seeing photos -- in the trial of two men who tortured and killed a woman and her two daughters after a home invasion. The article notes that, while the counseling offered in the Connecticut case was part of a pilot program, several states have established systems to aid jurors needing help to deal with their experiences.

This article from Time gives a thorough treatment to the issue, in the context of the 2007 murder trial of Colton Pitonyak, who murdered Jennifer Cave in Austin, Texas in 2005. Cave's mother pushed for the passage of a bill to offer such counseling statewide after sitting through the trial herself.

Nye wonders whether suits against the state or other participants in the process for emotional distress, or standard pretrial waivers of any such claims, are coming next. Let's hope not.

Posted by Eric Lipman on November 22, 2010 at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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