Re: Oh Please
Are you serious?
Yup. It's dead serious. I've served on a jury. You can find someone guilty and they can get sent to prison for years. If you aren't taking that seriously then you're both a total idiot and a liability to the rest of society.
Banning someone from Googling the accused is no more ludicrous than checking for their name(s) in the tabloids, yet how many people did that before the internet came out?
Indeed, the above mentioned idiots and liabilities to society did used to check stuff out in the papers. Despite the fact that they are told not to. And now they search online, despite the fact they are told not to. Although online is worse, because at least the UK papers have heard (and sometimes comply with) sub judice rules. Also, the papers may not always be accurate, but they're doing a good deal more fact-checking than random bloggers.
There are rules of evidence for a reason, in order to give people a chance of a fair trial. You, as a juror, have to accept that you only get limited information. You usually don't get previous convictions for example. You have a role to play in a complex system, and it's your job to do it fucking properly. So some poor sod doesn't end up locked up when they shouldn't be. Also so the victims don't have to come back to court and go through traumatic testimony a second time, because you've buggered up the very expensive and complicated trial, and it has to be done all over again.
It's not rocket science. You're told what you have to do, and it's your job to do it, as best you can. To go all high-fallutin, its your duty to society. One of the things that makes a decent society, is a fair (ish) legal system. And while no system is perfect, at least juries allow ordinary people to be involved and hopefully keep things sane. With legal checks-and-balances to try and avoid lynch-mob-rule. The only way to ensure the system doesn't turn into a totally self-interested closed shop is to grab ordinary bods off the street, and get them to serve on juries. Which is inconvenient, but necessary. Society would be worse without it. And in my experience, you can be forced to serve on a jury, but they're mostly pretty easy-going about letting you avoid it, if you really want to.