CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, August 19, 2019

Harvey on Jurors, the Internet, and Prejudice

David John Harvey (University of Auckland) has posted Diluting Prejudice on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
 
This paper is about the steps that may be taken to dilute but not totally eliminate the prejudicial effect of on-line material that relates to a defendant about to stand trial. It is posited upon the fact that jurors, despite strong judicial directions, will go on-line to seek out information relevant to the case that they are trying. The solution lies in the use of what could be described as “take-down” orders whereby material is removed from websites and de-indexed from search engines during the course of the trial to eliminate or dilute any prejudice that may otherwise arise. The remedy of a “take-down” order restores the qualities of practical and partial obscurity of prejudicial information that was a characteristic of the pre-Digital Paradigm. The paper also discusses the issue of juror contempt in light of proposed changes to the law in the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt) Bill.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2019/08/harvey-on-jurors-the-internet-and-prejudice.html

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