As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up

Interesting observation by Peter Hossli:

The New York Times ran a fascinating story about the influence of technology on the U.S. legal system. More often judges have to declare mistrial because jurors “had been doing research on the case on the Internet, directly violating the judge’s instructions and centuries of legal rules”, the Times reports. ,Jurors not only use Google to search information about defendants, they exchange information about the trial with their iPhones and BlackBerrys. The Times talks about a recent drug trial in Florida that was thrown out because of Internet research by a juror. Also last week, a company in Arkansas asked to overturn a $ 12.6 million judgment because a juror used Twitter to send updates during a civil trial. It is illegal for jurors to seek information outside of the courtroom.

Read “As Jurors Turn to google and Twitter, Mistrials are Popping Up”.

2 Comments leave a comment below

  1. coincidentally the local news ran a story about this issue last night. there’s a high profile trial going on here in Philadelphia that they’re trying to get dismissed because someone was twittering!
    people need to realize you don’t HAVE to share every moment and everything you’re doing.

  2. While it may be illegal for jurors to seek information outside of the courtroom, it is not necessarily illegal for them to comment about the case.

    The judge in the Philadelphia case (correctly, IMHO) refused to grant a mistrial, though of course the defense will try and use the issue on appeal.