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Judge Declares Mistrial Because of Wikipedia

pickens (49171) writes | more than 3 years ago

Crime 2

Pickens writes "The Palm Beach Post reports that a police officer convicted of drugging and raping a family member will get a new trial because the jury forewoman brought a Wikipedia article into deliberations. Broward Circuit Judge Stanton Kaplan declared a mistrial after Fay Mason admitted in court that she had downloaded information about "rape trauma syndrome" and sexual assault from Wikipedia and brought it to the jury room. "I didn't read about the case in the newspaper or watch anything on TV," says Mason. "To me, I was just looking up a phrase." Judge Kaplan called all six jurors into the courtroom and explained that Mason had unintentionally tainted their verdict and endangered the officer's right to a fair trial. Mason does not face any penalties for her actions."

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Good (1)

scotty.m (1881826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581410)

You posted almost the exact same circumstance with this [] story a few months ago. Is this because your an author on Wikipedia?

You are very observant (1)

pickens (49171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581768)

Both trials involve Wikipedia but I don't think they were "almost the exact same circumstance."

Trial 1:

Took place in Philippines.

was a Civil Trial (Divorce).

was a decision that was reversed on Appeal.

The Decision was Reversed because the Prosecuting attorney used Wikipedia as a reference.

Trial 2:

Took place in US.

was a Criminal Trial (Rape).

was declared a Mistrial

was declared a Mistrial because the jury was tainted with outside information from Wikipedia.

I submitted two separate stories because I think the differences in the two cases were substantial and interesting enough to warrant a discussion on slashdot.

Yes, Wikipedia is one of my interests and I did used to edit articles for Wikipedia [] but I submit articles about a lot of subjects that have nothing to do with Wikipedia [] .
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