Monday, January 14, 2013


Your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney isn't above stirring up a hornet's nest of hell in a certain Judge's hair now and then, as that's called good lawyering. Yet we expect our jurors to not only sit silent for hours listening as lawyer's attack each other, but to remain fair and impartial thru the despair, pain and boredom of jury duty 

Renoir's painting of Monet searching in a book is reminiscent of Tampa Bay jurors who have been punished for making google searches disrupting trials.
Renoir, Monet Searching
That means good jurors are forced to wean themselves for many hours from making their usual addictive google searches fishing for fresh information beyond the dull drabs supplied in the Courtroom. 

An angry Tampa, Florida Judge finally handed down the punishment for a remorseful juror who accepted responsibility for juror misconduct when he almost ruined a pending murder case by googling the Defendant's other charges and telling other potential jurors about the case. 
Certainly the Judge must have weighed some possible punishments for the juror such as these:
Community Service, say picking up trash by the side of the highway? No, there's not enough trash in all of Florida to dissuade others from using the internet during criminal trials.
A term in Jail? If you give him jail he'll demand a trial by jury where there'll be even more googling jurors until every Floridan is either on trial or googling about the trial while a juror and waiting to be arrested; thus sending Florida, the United States and perhaps the entire world into another prolonged recession. No, not even a Florida Judge would willingly do that.

So what's the Judge to do? According to press reports the googling juror touched the Judge's heart by admitting "curiosity got the best of me." Yet without mercy, the Judge sentenced the gossiping Juror to the nightmare every American dreads most:

The punishment, he said, could serve as an example...."It's important that this be brought to the public's attention..."
Instead of jail the Juror "...shall receive a summons for jury duty one week per month for the next three months."
He gets more jury duty! One wonders what questions Lawyers and Judges may have for this particular juror during jury selection and how likely it could be that he'll be picked to serve. 

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