Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Mistrial by Browser

A fascinating story from the New York Times, about how jurors are causing mistrials by using web enabled mobiles to research defendants, legal teams, and key facts about cases they are hearing.

This is expressly forbidden under American law, and I suspect, many other legal systems too.

What's come to light is that increasingly legal cases are being declared mistrials, because the alluring power of Google, Twitter, and other research/communications websites are resulting in jurors trying to investigate cases themselves, rather than listen to the lawyers and consider the evidence presented to them.

Why the phones aren't just confiscated at the start of the trial is a mystery to me. Expect it to become enshrined in law shortly.

1 comment:

Don said...

Who da thunk?