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As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 10:54:39 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Monty Solomon <monty () roscom com>
Date: March 17, 2009 11:07:41 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipient:;
Subject: As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up



As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
March 18, 2009

Last week, a juror in a big federal drug trial in Florida admitted to
the judge that he had been doing research on the case on the
Internet, directly violating the judge's instructions and centuries
of legal rules. But when the judge questioned the rest of the jury,
he got an even bigger shock.

Eight other jurors had been doing the same thing. The federal judge,
William J. Zloch, had no choice but to declare a mistrial, a waste of
eight weeks of work by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers.

"We were stunned," said a defense lawyer, Peter Raben, who was told
by the jury that he had been on the verge of winning the case. "It's
the first time modern technology struck us in that fashion, and it
hit us right over the head."

It might be called a Google mistrial. The use of BlackBerrys and
iPhones by jurors gathering and sending out information about cases
is wreaking havoc on trials around the country, upending
deliberations and infuriating judges.

...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/us/18juries.html





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