by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 8th 2010 9:19am
We've pointed out in the past that, eventually, the judicial system is going to have to come to terms with the fact that people use technology to research and communicate, rather than trying to pretend it can be stopped. But, it sounds like that's going to take a while. Courts are increasingly looking to ban jurors from using any kind of technology. And yes, before we go through this again, we understand the arguments why courts do this (so no need to keep repeating it in the comments like last time). The question is does this really make sense? The idea that you have no outside influences in making a decision as a jury is an idealistic fantasy anyway. Jurors always make decisions based on their own history and experiences. It's part of what makes a jury a jury. Otherwise, you'd just have one guy who would weigh all the facts in a case and who would always pop out a perfect decision. So, if we can admit that jurors are always bringing outside information (in the form of their own life history and knowledge) into the court room, can't we at least begin to understand why there's an argument for letting smart jurors make use of technology to better understand the issues at play?
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