[conspire] (forw) Reiser trial: DNA tests partially flubbed, defence motion for mistrial

Breen Mullins breen.mullins at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 07:42:14 PST 2008

* Christian Einfeldt <einfeldt at gmail.com> [2008-02-05 23:00 -0800]:

>I wonder, though, how that would affect your eligibility to serve.  For
>example, what would you say if the attorneys asked you in voire dire as to
>if you had researched law that might be pertinent to the case?  The judge
>would at any rate instruct you at the end of the case to apply only the law
>that was contained in the jury instructions.  So even if you used the law
>that you had researched, other than for your own background, it would seem
>that if it came out that a juror had researched the law AND discussed prior
>research during jury deliberations, that would be a basis for setting aside
>the verdict in a post-trial motion, at least in the civil arena.  But maybe
>I'm wrong.  It sounds like you have had some experience with this.

It was while a jury I served on was deliberating that one of our number 
proved to have done some independent research. She came back one morning
with a printout from a legal dictionary website. She was dismissed from
the jury.

San Mateo County is very touchy about these things. Some years ago
a big murder case fell apart when a couple of jurors decided on their 
own to visit the crime scene. 

Breen Mullins
Menlo Park, California

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