Debriefing offered to jurors who sat on Anne Norris trial

Jurors who sat on the Anne Norris first-degree murder trial will be offered a critical debriefing.

Justice department says help on the way after gruesome murder trial

Twelve people sat on the jury for the trial of Anne Norris at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court. (Stephanie Tobin/CBC)

Jurors who sat on the Anne Norris first-degree murder trial will be offered a critical debriefing.

Several jurors had requested help with dealing with the evidence they were seeing and hearing in the brutal death of Marcel Reardon at Harbour View Apartments in St. John's on May 9, 2016.

The Department of Justice and Public Safety says there were discussions with the court and it was decided a debriefing was necessary after the trial concluded.

The jury ultimately found Norris not criminally responsible for bludgeoning Reardon to death, after a five-week trial. 

Further, the department said it has now developed a critical debriefing plan for any juror who needs help following a particularly difficult trial.

"The debriefing addresses concerns and issues typically expressed by those who serve on a jury," a spokesperson for the justice department said in an email.

Heather McGrath is working to create a program that provides financial and emotional support for people who serve on jury duty. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

"Contact information for a counsellor with expertise in critical-incident stress management was made available so jurors can arrange an appointment for a private session."

There is movement on a national level to help jurors post-trial, with the Justice and Human Rights Committee of the House of Commons taking a deeper look at the mental health services available for people who carry out their civic duty.

As of last month, the Newfoundland and Labrador did not offer any post-trial support.

Heather McGrath, the daughter of Larry Wellman who was killed in 2015, has also offered financial support for jurors.

McGrath has been in contact with the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association to develop a strategy.