Trials & Litigation

Unusual sentence for would-be juror who Googled murder defendant

A Florida judge, obviously aggravated after he discovered last year that a prospective juror had disobeyed instructions and done Internet research on the defendant in a high-profile murder case, had initially warned the man to expect jail time.

But, after further reflection, Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente has tailored the punishment in the resulting contempt matter to fit the crime, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Vishnu P. Singh must report for jury duty once a week for three months, Fuente ruled Friday. Singh, who works as an engineer, apologized to the court earlier in the hearing for letting his curiosity get the best of him.

Although Fuente said he believes other jurors and prospective jurors also disobey court orders and Google defendants, he hopes Singh’s sentence will serve as a cautionary tale. “It’s important that this be brought to the public’s attention,” the judge stated.

Earlier coverage: “Expect Jail Time, Judge Tells Prospective Juror Who Googled Murder Defendant, Flouting Written Order”

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