Thursday, April 22, 2021

Frazier on Decision Hour for Jurors in the Chauvin Trial

Headshot of Dr. Pat Frazier
In the Derek Chauvin trial, jurors recently were in deliberation, finding themselves involved in one of the most significant police brutality cases in American history. A Star Tribune article titled, “Decision hour arrives for jurors in high-pressure, emotionally draining Chauvin trial,” covers how jurors may face heavy stress in many cases, particularly in high-profile proceedings. Pat Frazier, PhD, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota states that jurors undergo vicarious trauma exposure paired with the pressure of making a decision and lack of emotional/mental support. Frazier points out that jurors really only have one another as a support system as they are not allowed to discuss the trial with anyone.

Currently, there are no mental health resources for jurors in state district court. However, in federal courts, judges are able to offer counseling by issuing an order recognizing jurors as temporary federal employees eligible for services under the Employee Assistance Program. Serving as a juror can be stressful and even traumatizing and it is an essential duty any one of us may have to perform as part of our civic duty. Thank you to the jurors of the Derek Chavin trial.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.