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Nov 12, 2012

Judge Threatens Jail for Juror's Online Research, Discussions

The Tampa Bay Times and Lawyers.com both report that a Florida judge who declared a mistrial in a capital murder case because of a juror's Internet research into a murder case and online discussions of a case led to a mistrial has been threatened the juror with jail time.

According to the Times, Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente "angrily told [the juror Vishnu] Singh to leave a valid address with the bailiffs and prepare to go to jail when he is called back. He then ordered Singh thrown out of the courthouse."

The only other known case of a juror going to jail for such activity was also in Florida. In February, Circuit Judge Nancy Donnellan imposed a three-day jail sentence for criminal contempt on a juror who sent a friend request to the defendant in an auto negligence case. Judge Donnellan was particularly incensed that, after the friend request was discovered and the juror was dismissed, the juror wrote on Facebook, "Score ... I got dismissed!! apparently they frown upon sending a friend request to the defendant ... haha."

During jury selection in the more recent case, Judge Fuente gave each potential juror a copy of his order barring online research and discussion of the case. (Florida's jury instructions also include such an admonition.)

Contacted by the Times, the juror said, "I remember a piece of paper,. I didn't read the whole thing."

1 comments :

Linet Dsouza said...

I dont what must have gone wrong between the Judge and Singh but may the Justice stays forever

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