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California jurors misusing the Internet could face fines

radcen

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This is interesting. I would have presumed that people who threaten to use social media are actually seeking to be disqualified from serving as a juror. If I *wanted* to serve, and intended to use social media, I certainly wouldn't advertise it.

That being said, I'm not sure I agree with making punishing a juror so easy. Not automatically opposed, just not comfortable with the idea. Need to think about it some more.
 

Kal'Stang

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Yeah, not sure about this also. It always seems to start out with one thing in mind and then it gets expanded to something ridiculous. I can see why a court would not want juries to access the internet while on jury duty, it can create a biased jury or jury member. So if they did this only for this reason and did not expand it to other forms of what is considered contempt I might agree with this. But history tends to make me think that this could be abused and expanded to things other than simply "looking things up on the internet".

Of course there is a far easier solution. Simply take their electronic devices away from them until they're done with jury detail. Juries should be secluded during a trial anyways to prevent bias.
 

jet57

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This is interesting. I would have presumed that people who threaten to use social media are actually seeking to be disqualified from serving as a juror. If I *wanted* to serve, and intended to use social media, I certainly wouldn't advertise it.

That being said, I'm not sure I agree with making punishing a juror so easy. Not automatically opposed, just not comfortable with the idea. Need to think about it some more.

Jurors say and do all kinds of things to avoid service or just because they're stupid. When a judge tells you to stay away from media because it may put things in your head that are not introduced in court and can change your thinking - he means it. It's high time that said stupid people pay the piper for trying to cheat someone accused of a crime.
 

Thoreau72

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Jurors say and do all kinds of things to avoid service or just because they're stupid. When a judge tells you to stay away from media because it may put things in your head that are not introduced in court and can change your thinking - he means it. It's high time that said stupid people pay the piper for trying to cheat someone accused of a crime.

What if a judge tells the jury to stay away from media because the jury might find out something that the judge excludes that just so happens to allow the whole truth to be apparent? As in the case I sat in on?

The jurors are we the people, for that case on that day(s). I understand the need for proper procedures, but when the judges become rubber stamps for an improper prosecution, the jury can remedy that.
 

radcen

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What if a judge tells the jury to stay away from media because the jury might find out something that the judge excludes that just so happens to allow the whole truth to be apparent? As in the case I sat in on?

The jurors are we the people, for that case on that day(s). I understand the need for proper procedures, but when the judges become rubber stamps for an improper prosecution, the jury can remedy that.
In a roundabout way, I view juries being able to read outside media as similar to nullification... which I view as a legitimate check on the judicial and/or legislative process.

I don't necessarily have a problem with judges not telling jurors they can do it, but judges should be forbidden from telling them they cannot.
 

Gaius46

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Yeah, not sure about this also. It always seems to start out with one thing in mind and then it gets expanded to something ridiculous. I can see why a court would not want juries to access the internet while on jury duty, it can create a biased jury or jury member. So if they did this only for this reason and did not expand it to other forms of what is considered contempt I might agree with this. But history tends to make me think that this could be abused and expanded to things other than simply "looking things up on the internet".

Of course there is a far easier solution. Simply take their electronic devices away from them until they're done with jury detail. Juries should be secluded during a trial anyways to prevent bias.

Since most jurors go home at night what's taking away their electronics going to achieve? They can just use the home computer. And sequestering every jury for every trial is similarly unworkable. It's gotta cost a ton of money, you have to feed them and put them in a hotel, and how many people are going to be willing to be locked up away from their family for days on end?
 

Gaius46

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This is interesting. I would have presumed that people who threaten to use social media are actually seeking to be disqualified from serving as a juror. If I *wanted* to serve, and intended to use social media, I certainly wouldn't advertise it.

That being said, I'm not sure I agree with making punishing a juror so easy. Not automatically opposed, just not comfortable with the idea. Need to think about it some more.

I don't have an issue with. Trials are expensive. If you cause a mistrial by ignoring the judge's orders you cost the state and the defendant and should be fined.
 

radcen

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I don't have an issue with. Trials are expensive. If you cause a mistrial by ignoring the judge's orders you cost the state and the defendant and should be fined.
Even if the judge's orders aren't legit?

Reading outside media may be bannable (sp?), but take nullification... nullification is legit, yet many judges will instruct jurors to "only follow the law", which isn't legit because it implies there are no other options when indeed there are.
 

JANFU

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Yeah, not sure about this also. It always seems to start out with one thing in mind and then it gets expanded to something ridiculous. I can see why a court would not want juries to access the internet while on jury duty, it can create a biased jury or jury member. So if they did this only for this reason and did not expand it to other forms of what is considered contempt I might agree with this. But history tends to make me think that this could be abused and expanded to things other than simply "looking things up on the internet".

Of course there is a far easier solution. Simply take their electronic devices away from them until they're done with jury detail. Juries should be secluded during a trial anyways to prevent bias.
Are all Juries sequestered? And if they were it would add substantial cost to the judicial system.
 

Kal'Stang

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Are all Juries sequestered? And if they were it would add substantial cost to the judicial system.

No they're not. AFAIK that usually only happens in certain types of cases. But imo they SHOULD all be sequestered no matter the case. And yes, it would add substantial cost to the judicial system. I'm fine with that. Prevents jury tampering and biased juries. We should always strive for accuracy in our judicial hearings.
 

Kal'Stang

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Since most jurors go home at night what's taking away their electronics going to achieve? They can just use the home computer. And sequestering every jury for every trial is similarly unworkable. It's gotta cost a ton of money, you have to feed them and put them in a hotel, and how many people are going to be willing to be locked up away from their family for days on end?

Actually the costs could be mitigated by building a building specifically meant for sequestering jury members. It won't eliminate the increase in expenditure sure. But it will help a bit.

As far as people not wanting to be with family members....yep, life sucks. Still gotta do what ya gotta do though.
 

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Even if the judge's orders aren't legit?

Reading outside media may be bannable (sp?), but take nullification... nullification is legit, yet many judges will instruct jurors to "only follow the law", which isn't legit because it implies there are no other options when indeed there are.

If the judge gives incorrect instructions it's really the lawyers job to deal with it.

I hear what you're saying about nullification and judges not telling jurors about that power. But if I was really going to worry about jurors listening to the media while home (I'm really not worried about it btw since the vast majority of trials get no media attention) I think I'd be more worried about them getting "evidence" from the media.
 

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Actually the costs could be mitigated by building a building specifically meant for sequestering jury members. It won't eliminate the increase in expenditure sure. But it will help a bit.

As far as people not wanting to be with family members....yep, life sucks. Still gotta do what ya gotta do though.

Yeah but how many would all of a sudden find family members who are cops and lawyers? Or who tell the prose for that the hate the death penalty and defense lawyers that they love it. Though I suppose the idea for free eats might be tempting to some people.

In truth it probably doesn't matter 99% of the time the because the media doesn't cover the vast majority of trials.
 

Kal'Stang

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Yeah but how many would all of a sudden find family members who are cops and lawyers? Or who tell the prose for that the hate the death penalty and defense lawyers that they love it. Though I suppose the idea for free eats might be tempting to some people.

In truth it probably doesn't matter 99% of the time the because the media doesn't cover the vast majority of trials.

I doubt it'd be different than it currently is. :shrug: There's already people that try and get out of jury duty. Lots of them.
 

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Jurors say and do all kinds of things to avoid service or just because they're stupid. When a judge tells you to stay away from media because it may put things in your head that are not introduced in court and can change your thinking - he means it. It's high time that said stupid people pay the piper for trying to cheat someone accused of a crime.

if they're so stupid they shouldn't be determining anyone's fate to begin with! We need professional well-paid jurors with backgrounds in CSI and criminal justice, not joe blow who believes everything he reads
 

justabubba

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The legislation initially called for giving all state judges the power to fine wayward jurors. But it was scaled back after legislators expressed concern that it could dissuade potential jurors from serving.


isn't this the point
to avoid jurors who provoke mistrials
 

jet57

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if they're so stupid they shouldn't be determining anyone's fate to begin with! We need professional well-paid jurors with backgrounds in CSI and criminal justice, not joe blow who believes everything he reads

No, they should pay attention to the judges orders and then we won't have these problems.
 

Thoreau72

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No, they should pay attention to the judges orders and then we won't have these problems.

Why have a jury at all? Professional judges and prosecutors know the law, they are all as honest as the day is long, and they are interested only in what's best for the country and the rule of law.

We don't need no stinkin' jury. Professional law administrators are far better.
 

Casper

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What if a judge tells the jury to stay away from media because the jury might find out something that the judge excludes that just so happens to allow the whole truth to be apparent? As in the case I sat in on?

The jurors are we the people, for that case on that day(s). I understand the need for proper procedures, but when the judges become rubber stamps for an improper prosecution, the jury can remedy that.
FYI Judges already do that.
 

Casper

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Why have a jury at all? Professional judges and prosecutors know the law, they are all as honest as the day is long, and they are interested only in what's best for the country and the rule of law.

We don't need no stinkin' jury. Professional law administrators are far better.
Ummm, it is one of the principles this Nation is built upon, being judged by our fellow citizens instead of representatives of the State.
 

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It is not always easy to catch in the printed word.

Yes, I was being sarcastic.

IMO, those who advocate against jury nullification are basically advocating to do away with the jury. That is, if the judge and prosecutor are always right, why even have a jury?

I agree with Jefferson, that the jury is the best tool devised by man to keep government within its lawful bounds.

Since the Sparf decision in 1895, the process has been to dumb down the US juror, and it has advanced quite a bit in 100+ years.
 

radcen

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Yes, I was being sarcastic.

IMO, those who advocate against jury nullification are basically advocating to do away with the jury. That is, if the judge and prosecutor are always right, why even have a jury?

I agree with Jefferson, that the jury is the best tool devised by man to keep government within its lawful bounds.

Since the Sparf decision in 1895, the process has been to dumb down the US juror, and it has advanced quite a bit in 100+ years.
Exactly. Juries are a check on over-reaching power. Or, supposed to be.
 

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If the justice system actually believes that average Americans have the mental capacity to sort through the complex details of a trial, and make sound decisions towards a verdict, then I do not see why any judge should put limitations on anyone's liberties outside of a courtroom.
 
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