In a growing trend across the country more and more jurisdictions are offering or examining the idea of counseling for jurors. This is due to the fact that some jurors are required to sit through and discuss very graphic and emotionally disturbing evidence. The problem in certain states like Texas, however, is that although the legislation is in place it has no funding. The article below discusses the efforts of one woman (mother of a victim) who is attempting to get funding for juror counseling.
In the 2007 legislative session Sedwick helped get a bill passed to provide counseling for jurors like Paul who have been subjected to disturbing material.
"Those people have taken on a burden of seeing what happened to my child's body that I will never be able to see. And so how can you not have empathy and want to help them," said Sedwick.
Sedwick says jurors are taking advantage of the program. However, funding was never set up. Counties like Williamson must refer jurors to counselors where they may have to pay out of their own pockets.
Sedwick hopes to establish funding in the upcoming legislative session in January.
"Anytime there's going to be a jury trial, civil and/or criminal, that we have 50 cents charge when they file and have that go towards a jurors counseling fund," said Sedwick.
Paul has a packet of information guiding him to services in Travis County. He says it is something he will consider as he deals with his emotions in the days ahead...to continue reading go here.