A third is in the military and worried he’d be deployed during the trial of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes. Even as an unprecedented 9,000 prospective jurors were summoned for questioning, both sides in the mass murder trial are worried about letting too many potential jurors go. Prosecutors have asked the judge not to reveal why he releases jurors, for fear of handing out a road map for others trying to avoid serving. And defense attorney Daniel King warned the judge who was listing off the reasons to let people go: “You have to consider the fact that people may not want to sit on this jury.” It won’t be easy for those picked. Jury selection alone could last until June, and the trial could run into October. The court will pay jurors just $50 a day during that time, and employers only have to pay their workers for the first three days of jury service.
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Panic attack, bad back: Colo. theater shooting brings jury excuses – Washington Times
The court will pay jurors just $50 a day during that time, and Colorado employers only have to pay their workers for the first three days of jury service. The chosen 24, including 12 alternates, wont be allowed to talk to anyone – even each other – about the case until deliberations start, which means bearing the stressful experience alone. Mental health counseling will be available, but only after jurors see graphic crime scene photos and hear harrowing testimony from victims and reach a verdict. The length that you have to be on this case, and then to tell someone they cant talk about it, that is a huge burden, said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a University of Dayton law professor. Who wants to live in that bubble? The jurys job will be not only to decide whether Holmes was insane when he killed 12 people and wounded 70 others during the July 2012 attack on a Denver area theater, but they might also be asked whether he should be executed. Research has shown jurors in death penalty cases have suffered nightmares, flashbacks and symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, said James Acker, a researcher on death penalty juries at the State University of New York in Albany. Theyll be barred from sharing what theyre going through and thus not be able to share their feelings, either, Acker said. Federal prosecutors in Boston are confronting a similar dilemma as they try to find people to serve as jurors for the murder trial of accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, another death penalty case.
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Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports
Some of those potential jurors have also cited personal hardships that would make it difficult to serve on the trial, which is expected to last three to four months. Several said they run their own businesses and can’t afford to miss work, and others said they are the primary caregivers for their children, have prepaid vacations scheduled or have business trips planned. The Holmes case is more challenging, as evidenced by the far greater number of jurors called. The 9,000 jurors – more than have ever been summoned for a court case in U.S. history, according to experts. So many notices went out that witnesses to the attack received them, as did relatives of staffers in the district attorney’s office.
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