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Jurors who tweet and Google cases could face hefty fines

Jurors who tweet and Google cases could face hefty fines

Jurors who threaten to derail trials by researching them on Google or posting comments about them on Twitter are often dismissed with nothing more than a tongue-lashing from a judge.

But that may soon change in California. Legislation supported by state court officials would authorize judges in some counties to fine jurors up to $1,500 for social media and Internet use violations, which have led to mistrials and overturned convictions around the country.

As jurors and judges have become more technology-savvy in recent years, the perils of jurors playing around with their smartphones have become a mounting concern, particularly in technology-rich California. A 2011 state law...

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