The power of jury duty: A map of emotions on a rape trial

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Most people will be called to participate in jury service at some point in their lifetime. I received this call recently and spent a week viewing graphic evidence and listening to detailed accounts of rape and other types of sexual assault. This essay reflects on my personal experience of being a juror on a rape trial. Namely, I will discuss the power of the moral and social responsibility that resides in this important civic duty and how it conflicts with natural human instinct. This essay zeroes in on the thought processes that arise throughout the entire juror experience; from jury summons to the powerful after-effects that linger post-trial. The concepts of “juror stress”, cognitive bias, and the battle between emotions and rational thinking are explored. This essay concludes with a call to action for the Ministry of Justice to implement changes to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of being a juror on a serious criminal trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages8
JournalThe Open Review (SWDTP)
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2024


I would like to thank my editor, Megan Bailey, for all her encouragement and super editing skills. I would also like to thank Joe Barton, Kasha-Faye Pascoe, Tricia Fairburn, Dr Charlotte Dack, and everyone else who supported me throughout the writing of this publication.

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