PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jurors spent over a month listening to emotional testimonies, reviewing disturbing and violent evidence and, ultimately, convicting the murderer at the center of it all.
Now all that’s left in the trial of Jeremy Christian is the sentencing.
But the role the jurors played ended on Thursday when they reached a unanimous decision regarding enhanced factors that could impact Christian’s prison sentence.
Before the jurors left the Multnomah County Courthouse to return to their normal lives, they were given information on how to prepare for the emotional fallout and where to seek help if they need it.
Chief Criminal Judge Cheryl Albrecht presided over the case. She told KOIN 6 News trials like these can be emotionally challenging for those called to serve on the jury.
“They’ve witnessed evidence that is graphic and emotional and they’ve had to process all that without discussing it with anybody during the trial,” Albrecht said. “We sat down with them and gave them the information sheet about the kinds of things that people experience when they are going through re-entry when they are done with an intense, powerful experience.”
The court provided the jurors with a resources tip sheet advising that they may feel temporary signs of distress, including anxiety and moodiness, difficulty sleeping and focusing, feelings of fear or guilt and even physical ailments like headaches.
Crisis intervention specialists also shared their experiences with the jurors, providing tips like eating nutritious meals, meditating, getting rest and actively avoiding isolating themselves along with resisting negative thoughts about the verdict.
“To expect people, just because a statute tells them they have to do jury duty, to come and make those kinds of sacrifices — we have an obligation, I believe, to ensure that they can do that in a way that honors the way that they served,” said Albrecht.
KOIN 6 News reached out to the jurors but most declined to comment. When asked how challenging the trial was, one juror replied: “It took a lot.”
Christian’s sentencing is now in Albrecht’s hands. It’s expected to be handed down sometime in late March but the exact date has not been determined.
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