COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nearly half of the jurors who sentenced a South Carolina man to death for killing his five kids say they’re haunted by what they heard in court.
Eight of the 18 jurors who made the unanimous decision for Timothy Jones Jr. to die told The State newspaper they can’t escape the testimony that left even veteran police officers shaken. Gruesome evidence included confession audio that detailed how Jones used belts to strangle some of the children because their necks were too small.
Some jurors say they’re traumatized. Others are getting counseling and at least one got a tattoo memorializing the children. Wofford College psychology professor Dawn McQuiston says horrific testimony harming jurors’ mental health is known as secondary trauma. The court offered jurors counseling to handle the case’s emotional aftereffects.
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