NewsKyle Rittenhouse Trial


Jury in Kyle Rittenhouse trial will share a strong bond that lasts long after a verdict

Kyle Rittenhouse Jury Selection
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 11:22:57-05

KENOSHA, Wis. — The 12 jurors tasked with reaching a verdict and deciding the fate of Kyle Rittenhouse will share an unbreakable bond long after the trial in Kenosha is done.

During the critical jury deliberation process, which has been going on for three days now, the jurors are developing a strong camaraderie.

When you are picked as a member of a jury, you all start as strangers with only one thing in common - the trial you're sitting on, which is the one thing you cannot talk about.

“They're going through a unique circumstance that nobody else can understand except for one another,” said Christina Marinakis, a jury consulting adviser.

Marinakis helped select the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of the death of George Floyd.

Derek Chauvin
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, listen as Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank, questions witness Donald Williams, as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

"You have people from a cross section of the community, who probably would never otherwise talk to one another or be together,” said Marinakis. “Now, they are on a team with an important task that they must come together for.”

“We call it jury duty for a reason, because it is hard work,” said jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn. “It takes a lot of time and attention.”

Hirschhorn helped select juries in several big national cases, like the trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in 2012, and the 2003 murder trial of New York real-estate heir, Robert Durst.

“Jury members build the same kind of relationship that you might build with coworkers, or if you're in the military,” Hirschhorn said. “It's a strong bond that will last, for years, if not decades, beyond this trial.”

Lori Sundt was on the jury that convicted Jeffrey Dahmer in Wisconsin nearly 30 years ago. She says she and her fellow jurors often shared meals and stories and remained close for a long time.

Lori Sundt
Lori Sundt hold up her jury pin from when she served on the Jeffrey Dahmer trial.

“I made some great friends, but lost touch with them unfortunately,” said Sundt. “We grew from that experience together.”

Brandon Mitchell, a juror in Derek Chauvin's trial in Minneapolis earlier this year, says he and fellow jurors found support in each other after it was over.

“It’s a very difficult process, especially after it’s over, and the media is reaching out to you,” said Mitchell. “Because we did build that camaraderie throughout the experience, we knew we had all been through the exact same thing and were dealing with the aftermath. They understood what I was feeling and going through. It just makes sense to lean on them.”

Brandon Mitchell, Juror for Derek Chauvin Trial

And that's why jury consultants say regardless of the verdict reached, jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, who did not volunteer for that role, deserve to be thanked for the job many of us would not choose to do.

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