Technology Brings Headaches, Help to Washington Courtrooms

December 5, 2011

New technology is bringing both headaches and help to Washington courtrooms.

The Tri-City Herald reports jurors are repeatedly reminded not to do any research on their smartphones or computers in the middle of a trial. But that hasn’t stopped some from using their electronic devices to tweet about their cases or post a status update on Facebook.

Court officers say, what may seem like an innocent action, can lead to the dismissal of a juror and halt a trial or reverse a verdict.

These headaches haven’t stopped Washington’s courts from using the same technology to their advantage.

In Benton and Franklin County, for example, Superior Court clerks use iPads to register potential jurors as they arrive. They also use technology to keep jurors moving and to give updates.

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