posted Mar 02, 2001

Juror may have sent "guilty" e-mail to 900 people
3/2/2001; 5:28:36 PM

Another interesting computers-affects-justice story (see preceding item).

'When you serve on a jury, the judge makes it clear: Don't talk to anyone about the case. But one juror may have broken that rule in a big way -- by writing an e-mail that went out to 900 people.

'"Just say he's guilty and let's get on with our lives!" the message said.

'Now, the Supreme Judicial Court is considering whether the comments require a new trial.'

It may seem this is not strictly a computer issue; jurors have been communicating illegally ever since the rules were first made. I think the difference is that computers are powerful, which means they make things easy... and that means it's correspondingly easier to screw things up. When's the last time you accidentally mailed nine hundred people a postcard? With some modern e-mail programs, this mistake is no more then a couple of keystrokes (or a macro virus!) away!

Computer users beware! (That would sound great in Latin, wouldn't it?)


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