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What will life look like for jurors after the Trump trial?

The 12 jurors who served on former President Trump's hush money trial can choose whether or not to remain anonymous.
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The 12 jurors who served on former President Trump's hush money trial can choose whether or not to remain anonymous.

In the wake of Trump's guilty conviction in a Manhattan court, many players involved have expressed their own reactions to the verdict.

Here's how Trump himself said it: "It's my honor to be doing this. It really is. It's a very unpleasant thing, to be honest. But it's a great, great honor."

And there are others who might share that sentiment, namely the 12 New Yorkers who voted to convict the former president of 34 counts of falsified business records.

Their identities were not disclosed publicly in an effort to protect their privacy.

Trump hasn't directly attacked the jury. But he did imply that the pool, selected from democratically-leaning Manhattan, was biased against him, complaining that they, "Wouldn't give us a venue change," in favor of a district that he had higher approval ratings in during elections.

And his followers online have taken it upon themselves to threaten jurors with everything from doxxing to death threats.

You're reading the Consider This newsletter, which unpacks one major news story each day. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to more from the Consider This podcast.

Earning the ire of Trump's fans.

There are plenty of Americans in public-facing roles who have been forced to deal with the repercussions of getting on Trump's bad side.

Like Maine's Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who removed Trump from the Republican presidential primary ballot – which she said state law required her to do.

Eventually that decision was reversed by the Supreme Court. But before that happened, Bellows told NPR her house was swatted, or targeted by a hoax 911 call.

"I stand by doing my job, but the response, the threats of violence and threatening communications, have been unacceptable," she said.

Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who first brought the charges against Trump in this trial, had a letter filled with death threats and white powder addressed to him in an envelope last year, among hundreds of other threats against his life since publicly embarking on taking Trump to court.

"A stressful and difficult task"

Those are the words judge Juan Merchan used to thank the jurors for their service throughout Trump's hush money trial.

Now that it's all over, will the jurors reveal their identities, get exposed by someone else or just fade back into the fabric of civilian life? And if they speak, what might they say?

Social psychologist and jury consultant Julie Blackman joined Consider This host Ari Shapiro to explore what could be next for these inadvertently influential folks.

Blackman says the transition back to normal life might take the jurors a minute, due to the demands of serving on the jury.

"They were instructed by the court at the beginning of the trial, and throughout the trial, to stay off the internet, to avoid any information that's relevant to the trial at hand," she explained.

"And so one of the things you would expect they would be doing at this point, assuming that they'd followed that instruction, is checking to see what was happening during the course of the trial to try to reestablish themselves in a sense and in the world of news about this case."

And on whether they should reveal their identities to the world?

"I mean, in some respects, I'm very eager to hear from the jurors, in particular because Trump has derided the process. He's talked about it as rigged. And the ultimate proof that it was not, is hearing from jurors who say, 'I was there. I was in the room, and I'm willing to kind of pierce the black box of juror deliberations to describe our process and to say that we were fair.'"

Blackman expects that during this time, the jurors are weighing the risks and possible benefits of coming forward. Including the possibility of doxxing.

Want to know more about what they might experience, or if their identities are at risk of being revealed? Listen to the full episode of Consider This by clicking the play button at the top of the page.

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