Jury stress is the physical discomfort and mental anxiety a juror experiences as a result of the jury service. Such stress may come from disruptions of a juror’s daily routines, unpleasant questionings from lawyers, tensions of arriving at a verdict during deliberations and appalling or gruesome evidence. Some jurors may continue to suffer physical and psychological disorders such as nausea, insomnia and depression after the jury service.
To help alleviate jury stress, courts have been working to provide flexible and sufficient notice to jurors and encourage plain-language jury instructions. Federal courts now provide “critical incident debriefing” services and free mental health counseling sessions to jurors who are involved in high-profile cases. State courts have also initiated similar counseling programs.
[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]