In Scotland a Juror who Misuses Technology Can Face Two Years in Prison!

I’ve written an article or two on ethics and technology, and am in the middle of writing a chapter for an ABA book.  It is remarkable to me the number of jurors who do not listen to the judge’s admonitions not to do research about the case but, instead, to listen to the evidence.  Also, jurors sometimes text to friends, family, and each other about the case.  I know that a juror in one trial I was involved in a couple years ago was tweeting during a patent trial (mostly about how boring it was and, I have to say, I agreed!).  There’s even a blog about jurors misbehaving called!

Over in the UK they’ve decided to take this fight one step further and criminalize some aspects of this.  Up to 2 years in prison! The article is here.

Not sure I’d lock someone up for two years for doing this, but I do know that, especially in the criminal arena, misconduct has caused mistrials, motion practice, and more.  Perhaps it would serve as a strong deterrent?

Anyone have any stories to share?

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.