Juror Searches Wikipedia

by Sarah Prosory 17. December 2010 08:49

This morning I saw this Slashdot.org article about a mistrial declared in Florida because a juror searched Wikipedia for a term that was unknown to her. She was "just looking up a phrase". Despite numerous warnings from the judge to jurors to not research the case, the juror brought what she found on Wikipedia to the jury room.

This is nothing new. Back in January of 2010, a murder case was thrown out because a juror looked up a definition on Wikipedia as well. The Washington Post wrote a very good article about how technology has caused more trouble for jurors who need to refrain from using it while serving on a jury.

My pondering is... will jury rules need to change to adjust to our technology-filled world? Should lawyers provide definitions/more information to confused jurors, so that jurors don't need to feel that they should look things up themselves? All it takes is a Google search on a smartphone and they have their confusion resolved. Give your comments below!


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