Research on jurors and juror symptomatology has been conducted for many years; however, little research has occurred in Canada. What little research was conducted in Canada was now several years ago. Further, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest PTSD can and does occur as a result of serving jury duty. As such, this research sought to explore that relationship, as described by participants.
This research is qualitative and involved two stages. First, participants were asked to complete an online demographic survey that included a self-report measures for PTSD, the PCL-5. Second, respondents were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Findings were analyzed via thematic analysis.
This research found three participants who met the criteria for probable PTSD (when using a PCL-5 cut-off score of 32). Overall, jurors in Canada echo previous research that states sources of symptoms relate to viewing disturbing images, deliberations, sequestering, and fear of making a mistake. New insight indicates fear associated with retaliation may be a major contributing factor for symptomology as may be the age of the accused at the time of the trial.
Primary and secondary policy and practice recommendations are provided.
Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, jurors, jury duty, Canada, qualitative, phenomenology.