Monday, June 11, 2012

To Sequester or Not to Sequester, That is the Question

I saw an article on the CNN website (link below) discussing that the presiding judge in the Sandusky trial in PA had declinedt to sequester the jury during the entire trial.  Given (over the past 2 years) the great number of mistrials and re-trials arising from juror misconduct involving the Internet and social media, it raises the question whether sequestering the jury for the entire trial is worth the financial expense (enormous) and what the impact on the personal lives of the jurors will be.  Will it discourage even more jurors from showing up for jury duty when summoned?  Will it increase the number seeking deferment or exclusion from jury duty?  Will it provide even more opportunity for jurors to discuss the case before deliberations?  Should they be allowed to do so?
Apparently the estimated cost of sequestering the jury in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor would have been over a half million dollars, certainly prohibitive given the financial disaster that is California's budget.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the trial in PA.

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