North Carolina’s Administrative Office of the Courts will spend $14,000 for a pilot program that will offer jurors mental health counseling if they’re upset by what they’ve heard or seen in a trial. Is there any doubt that the pilot program will be deemed a huge success by the bureaucrats who administer it? Is there any doubt the bureaucrats will then push to expand the program? Is there any doubt that more money will then be spent on this? No, I’m not heartless. I don’t doubt that, sometimes, jurors hear and see disturbing information; it’s the criminal justice system after all. I once served on a jury in a civil case that forced me to confront human behavior I found appalling and cruel. It was uncomfortable, but I dealt with it. Working through private emotions doesn’t require government intervention and spending. How about talking to a family member or a pastor? How about visiting a private counselor or doctor if you find you need intensive help? How about reading one of the thousands of books that offer advice on dealing with stress? In other words, how about relying on one’s own resources?
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