iPhone Use in Court Ends in Manslaughter Mistrial

One would expect anyone sitting on a jury not to use their smartphone while deliberating on a manslaughter case right? Well apparently some bozo thought otherwise and that bozo was actually the jury foreman using his iPhone.

According to an article over on Gizmodo by Brian Barrett, and by way of Internet Cases, the jury foreman decided to look up the word prudence on Encarta via his iPhone although he wasn’t in the room when he did it, but remember it so he could help his other jurors on what they were considering.

However according to the Court of Appals,, he shouldn’t have done it and states…”After the appellant was convicted, a juror contacted defense counsel and claimed that during a break from jury deliberations, the jury foreperson used a smartphone, specifically an iPhone, to look up the definition of “prudence.” The court granted a motion to interview jurors and determined, after an evidentiary hearing, that there was juror misconduct based on the fact that the jury foreperson utilized his smartphone to search an internet site, Encarta, for the definition of “prudent” or “prudence.” The foreperson shared this definition with other jurors during deliberations.”

The case involved a man who shot his 19 year old neighbour during an enraged dog walking argument; the accused argued that he was in fear for his life at the time while the defence argued the accused decision to shoot the teenager was “prudent.” Rather than a conviction the defendant received a new trial and all because of using an iPhone.


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