(credit: Renzo Stanley)
Jurors who don’t obey a judge’s admonition to refrain from researching the Internet about a case or using social media during trial could be dinged up to $1,500 under proposed California legislation.
The first-of-its-kind measure, now before the California Assembly, would give a new weapon to judges in the Golden State who can already hold misbehaving jurors in contempt.
But under the new law, designed to combat mistrials, a judge would have an easier time issuing a rank-and-file citation under the proposed law instead of having to go through all of the legal fuss to charge somebody with contempt.
Judges routinely warn jurors not to research their case or discuss it on social media. Normally, errant jurors are dismissed without any penalty, and sometimes a mistrial ensues. Under the new law, levying a fine would be as easy as issuing a traffic ticket.
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