US juries are causing mistrials by going online to look up legal definitions,according to professional law magazine, The National Law Journal.
One County Superior Court judge described the growing numbers of web-sleuthing jurors as a "major problem" for the courts.
According to the US weekly magazine, one juror went on the internet and discovered that an accused child molester whose case they were hearing faced a minimum of 17 years in prison if convicted.
The juror considered this "too excessive" and deadlocked the jury, causing a mistrial.
Other juries have been misled by what they believe to be definitions of legal terms available online that are more accurately 'common' definitions.
One confused jury foreman went home and looked up definitions for first-, second- and third-degree murder for the case he was on, in order to direct the jury. But a mistrial had to be declared because he got the definitions wrong.
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