When licensed therapist Terri Rahner read how the images of a murdered 9-year-old child were haunting the jurors who put Shawna Forde on death row, she decided to do something about it.

She met with Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo and jury commissioner Kathy Pollard and pitched some ideas.

Rahner offered to talk to jurors after particularly troubling felony trials and suggested updating a jury pamphlet with facts, tips and resources.

Rahner already had an "in" with Leonardo. For the past three years, Rahner has been assisting Pima County Superior Court judges with arrangement of competency evaluations for defendants and with a variety of other mental-health-related procedures.

The jury pamphlet has now been updated, and Rahner met earlier this month with the jurors who sentenced Forde's co-defendant, Jason Bush, to death.

Forde and Bush were convicted of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009, deaths of Raul Junior Flores, 29, and Brisenia Flores, 9. Jurors in both cases listened to a lengthy 911 call from the victims' wife and mother as she pleaded for help and exchanged gunfire with Bush. They also saw gruesome crime scene and autopsy photos.

Rahner viewed the photos and listened to the call so she could relate to what the jurors were feeling.

She told the Bush jurors the types of things they can expect to experience after such a traumatic event and what symptoms they should seek help for.

"Jury service in death-penalty-level cases is an extraordinary experience," Rahner said. "They give up not only their time, but their emotional resources."

When overcome by details of the case, it's important for jurors to remember they performed an important function, Rahner said.

"I tried to put things into perspective for them. Doing justice for someone hurt like that, it's very important," Rahner said. "I wanted them to remember there was a purpose (for exposing them to horrific details) and that they served that purpose and they did it well."

Leonardo said he's not sure how many jurors need counseling, but noted many are exposed to "emotionally disturbing evidence unlike what most of them have ever experienced before."

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crim...7b024bdfc.html