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Fisher, D.J. (2020). A Psychoanalyst Serves on a Jury. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 28(2):277-298.

(2020). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 28(2):277-298

A Psychoanalyst Serves on a Jury

David James Fisher

This article reports on the author's subjective experience of jury duty in a gruesome case involving multiple violent and sexual crimes. In a thought experiment, the author attempts to maintain the analytic stance while witnessing the dramatic unfolding of the judicial process, reflecting on the painful contrast between the analytic frame and the framework of justice. The trauma and guilt of witnessing and evaluating human violence are explored. The carriage of justice itself is not gentle. Issues related to transference and countertransference dynamics in the courtroom are raised, including the temptation to dissociate and to idealize the presiding authority. The author's awareness of systemic racism and sexism compound the emotional conflicts and dilemmas of judgment faced by the analyst-juror. He proposes some recommendations for psychological assistance to jurors.

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