Without a net: Judges tell jurors with smart phones, "No surfing allowed"

Dennis Baron debaron at illinois.edu
Wed Mar 18 21:34:12 UTC 2009


There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Without a net: Judges tell jurors with smart phones, "No surfing  
allowed"

According to the New York Times, jurors around the country have been  
triggering mistrials by using their iPhones to research the cases  
they’re deciding, or worse yet, by Twittering trial updates. Judges  
traditionally instruct jurors not to read about or discuss the case  
outside the courtroom. Now they’ve added prohibitions against surfing  
or talking about the case online as well, because more and more are  
googling plaintiffs and defendants and the finer points of the law on  
their web-enable cell phones, or posting trial trivia on Facebook.

It won't be long before Law and Order runs an episode on this new kind  
of jury tampering – L and O'sunaccredited but fully-functional Hudson  
University School of Law has already worked getting juries offline  
into its curriculum – but real-life attorneys fear that web-savvy  
jurors are undermining the criminal justice system and they want the  
internet out of court.

find out if this is a good idea...

read the rest of the post on the Web of Language:  http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage


____________________
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

http://illinois.edu/goto/debaron

read the Web of Language:
http://illinois.edu/goto/weboflanguage







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