Tuesday, March 17, 2009

mistrial by iphone

i had a funny reaction to this article in the new york times today, which is about jurors screwing up trials by using their blackberrys and iphones to google defendants, twitter jury decisions before the trial is over, and make other smartphone-related infractions. so my first thought was, "would i do that if i were on a jury? would i blog and twitter and facebook-status about how the trial was going? lord knows i love to share the daily details of my life." then i realized no, of course i wouldn't, because 1) i am a huge fan of constitutional law and 2) i'm not an idiot and 3) i am a rule-follower. in fact, i tend to be a rule-follower almost to a fault, and sometimes i try to cure myself of it, for the sake of spontaneity and carpe diem, etc. (although actually i believe that it's kept many of my loved ones from mortal injury, and worse, getting yelled at). but if a judge frowned sternly at me over her judicial-looking glasses and instructed me not to go on the internets during the course of the trial, there's no way i'd disobey.

i've never been on a jury, or even called for jury duty. i'd actually really love to do it, and i promise to leave my iphone at home.


Anonymous said...

On a Federal jury in Boston, they simply had us check our laptops, cellphones, and other electronics at the front desk of the courthouse.

Also no notetaking by the jury (too much weight to what was written down, to the detriment of other evidence). Great judge, very clear about the rules of the game.

(A design element in our courtroom was a circle inside a square--symbolic? squaring the circle? round pegs in square holes? the difficulty of Truth and Justice?)


Liz Woodbury said...

no fair! i want to be on a jury!!