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Information overload reaches new frontiers March 17, 2009

Posted by sashahc in Uncategorized.
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There is an article in the NY Times today entitled “Mistrial by iPhone”.  Here’s the first paragraph:

Mistrial by iPhone
“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, wasting eight weeks of work by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers.”

Fascinating. With hindsight, of course, we should have seen it coming. It has become automatic to pull out a mobile device wherever you are (dinner, street, stoplight) and get an info-fix. And the judicial system is not prepared to deal with it. At first, judges and attorneys will ask for the phones themselves to be sequestered. But as information gets more and more prevalent, what will be the new models for handling jury sequestration?

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