Tuesday, March 17, 2009

iPhone, Blackberry and the Rule of Law

Mistrial by iPhone: Juries’ Web Research Upends Trials

My first reaction was disbelief, not that the jurors were looking things up, but that there was a controversy over it. I have long believed that those picked for jury duty in this country tend to be on a much lower end of the spectrum of well informed-normal US Citizen. Not to say they are horrible... but there is a reason why they are on a Jury- neither lawyer objected to them. And as we know that lawyers want what is best for their client (aka, uninformed, unbiased or biased TOWARD individual/company involved), they will choose people who fit that spectra. A normal US Citizen would never serve, seeing as they at least glance over the internet and tend to have many experiences.
If we are talking about law, would we not want our juries to be as informed as possible? But as I think continued reading, I started thinking a bit more. Where are the juries getting this 'insta-info' from? The answers being Google, Wikipedia and news outlets. None of these sources is unbiased, and they can unfairly sway a jurors decision.

My solution. Ban Iphones. Ban Blackberries. Ban all internet capable machines. Keep tabs on the juriers. I know this sounds a lot like martial law, but we are relying on our juriers to uphold our laws, they can deal with tigher security. Especially if it saves us millions when the trials go to appeals court because of the technology use of the jurors.

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