In the last few days after the Aurora Colorado killings, we have been hearing about the physiological effect of seeing and hearing the gruesome details of this case on Americans. Surly anyone who has heard the news is sickened by the horrific deaths of twelve innocent moviegoers. The senseless death of an innocent child must be especially disturbing to most people.
With any luck, the public will never see the horrific crime scene photos. The mere fact that one of the victims took his own photos of his injuries and then posted them to the web was difficult to view for most individuals.
Judge William Sylvester will not only have to see crime scene photos but study in detail the facts of this case. I am sure that Judge Sylvester is accustom to seeing horrific crime scene photos and reading horrific details of criminal cases on a regular base. Criminal court judges average about a thousand cases a year. They get a close-up view of humankinds inhumanity to humankind on a daily bases.
With physiologists expressing such open concern for the general public, why does no one every question the physiological effects of working in the criminal division on judges and their staff. We keep our military people from working in a war zone for too long in order to prevent lasting physiological damage. We provide mental health care to police officers after each officer involved shooting. Yet, we never hear of any healthcare being supplied to criminal court judges. These people can end up working on the bench for twenty to thirty years. At no time do we limit the number of years a judge can serve in the criminal court division.
One has to wonder do judges suffer from posttraumatic stress syndrome because of working many years in the criminal division of the court system. How is their view of the world changed by what they see and hear in the day-to-day court cases that come across their desks?
A good support system is necessary for criminal court judges. At no time should these judges be cut off from the public. Over the past few years, we have seen examples of criminal court judges who have simple falling apart in front of the public. Without the public being involved in the lives of these judges, how can the voters be assured of their mental health while serving on the bench?