(AP) One prospective juror said she had a panic attack. Another claimed to have a bad back. 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.
Source: Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses – Yahoo News
Panic attack, bad back: Colo. theater shooting brings jury excuses – Washington Times
Excuses vary, and they show the broad cross-section of those called: One potential juror is the sole caretaker of his severely disabled wife. Another worried his orthodontics business would suffer. Another needed to find day care. Limiting jury service to those without serious financial hardships can also alter the panel, said Joseph Rice, managing partner of the Jury Research Institute, a California-based trial consulting firm. “All of a sudden, you’ve taken a jury of your peers, which is supposed to be a random cross-section of the community, and now it has become dramatically skewed,” he said. Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie contributed to this report from Boston.
Source: Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports
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.
Source: Panic attack, bad back: Colo. theater shooting brings jury excuses – Washington Times