Juror Fined by Federal Judge for Doing On-Line Research During Trial
During both criminal and civil jury trials in New York courtrooms, the presiding judge instructs jurors (usually multiple times a day) not to conduct any research about the case they’re hearing. That’s because a jury is supposed to decide a case based only on the evidence they see and hear during trial, and the judge’s instructions about the law and how to apply it to the evidence. But the message didn’t get through to a New Jersey man; at a cost he might not have imagined.
Prosecutors in Camden said the juror, one of 12 jurors deciding a federal criminal case, violated Judge Robert Kugler’s instructions by conducting on-line research into evidence in the case and then shared his findings with his fellow jurors during deliberations. When the prohibited research was disclosed, the Court declared a mistrial. Judge Kugler found the juror in contempt of court and fined him $11,227; the cost the bringing in the jury for the trial.