Jurors in the Marathon Bombing trial will have access to mental health counseling following the lengthy federal death penalty trial against convicted terrorist Dzhokar Tsarnaev.
US District Judge George O’Toole will make services available to the 18 jurors provided under the federal Employee Assistance Program, The Boston Globe reported.
Throughout the eight-week trial, jurors were bombarded with images and videos of death and severed limbs, audio of cries of agony, testimonies from the afflicted and other accounts of blood, gore, chaos and loss. With those stresses behind them, they still have to decide Tsarnaev’s fate in order to end the ordeal of bringing justice to the surviving bomber.
Advocates in the mental health field told the Globe that jurors could suffer secondary traumas and encounter post-traumatic stress struggles as a result of the regular exposure to such intense subject matter. But the help they might need will not be available until after the trial, as they are not allowed to discuss the case until a decision is reached.
The Globe’s report said that jurors could develop sleep issues, encounter abnormal levels of irritability, anxiety, fear of crowds or other symptoms of depression.