Trials & Litigation

A Shock for Judge Zloch: 9 Jurors in 1 Trial Doing Web Research

When U.S. District Judge William Zloch recently learned last week that a juror in a big federal drug trial in Florida had been doing Internet research, in violation of the court’s instructions, he was shocked.

But the judge was even more amazed to find out, when he then questioned other jurors, that eight others had been doing Web research on the case, too, reports the New York Times. At that point, the judge had no choice but to declare a mistrial.

He wasn’t the only one to be hit hard by today’s Internet communication rage:

“We were stunned,” says defense attorney Peter Raben, who was told by jurors that they had been headed toward acquittal before Zloch declared a mistrial. “It’s the first time modern technology struck us in that fashion, and it hit us right over the head.”

Related coverage: “‘Devious’ MySpace Mood Destroys N.Y. Cop’s Jury Testimony” “Lawyers Fume Over Juror Twitter Posts; Blogger Wonders What Would OJ Tweet” (2007): “Pal Tipped Plaintiff Attorney about ‘Flea’”

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