Today, the New York Times runs 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.