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Juror was Jonesing for Football Scores

A sequestered juror in a very high profile case has been caught going online with his laptop while back in his hotel room. Juror # 3 apparently could not resist checking in on his fantasy football league. Investigators say he visited the popular sports-tracking site “BleacherReport.com” as well as a fantasy football site at Yahoo.com. The juror claimed that his laptop just happened to appear in his room. At least he wasn’t caught looking at anything crazier than football scores! The addiction to technology due to the Tech Explosion continues.

Polo Magnate John Goodman on Trial for Manslaughter

Polo Magnate John Goodman on Trial for Manslaughter

The trial in question is that of polo magnate John Goodman. He is accused of manslaughter in an apparent DUI crash, causing the death of Scott Wilson, age 23, back in 2012. Goodman was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but the original verdict was thrown out due to juror misconduct.

This is just further proof of our technology addiction. Yes, the juror probably has an addiction to the sports info itself, but the ready availability of information is the true addiction. He would not likely be looking for the same information in a newspaper the next day. It seems that today, we all need our information NOW! We are all hooked. So much so, that this juror could have jeopardized the entire outcome of a trial that is itself a retrial due to a jury issue. The verdict in the first trial in this case was thrown out due to juror misconduct!

Car in Goodman Case Totally Destroyed

Car in Goodman Case Totally Destroyed

Now, this issue being in the news, makes for some free advertising for Bleacher Report. Certainly their readership has increased in the past day or so, with their site being mentioned countless times. The sad part of all of this, is the case itself. Unfortunately, a young man died due to the accused Mr. Goodman allegedly drinking while driving. Of course, Mr Goodman is innocent until proven guilty! However, prosecutors say that his blood-alcohol level was .177, which is twice the legal limit. So far, even though Juror #3 apparently went online while sequestered, both sides in the case have agreed to move forward.

It just goes to show you how addicted we are to instant information via technology. In our story about technology addiction, titled “Smart? Phone Addiction“, we explore our addiction to smartphones. The addiction for most people is only increasing voraciously. Every day we are using more and more apps and using our smartphones in more and more ways. From Apple’s new ApplePay instead of using a credit card, to reading, to watching TV, the endless number of uses for our smartphones increases. Texting, reading, emailing, banking, checking in for a flight, paying bills…The list goes on and on. There is literally an app for everything now, and the more we use our smartphones, the more we want to use them.

Just today, I myself used my new, beautiful iPhone 6 Plus to text, check e-mail, check in for a flight, check my bank balance, read top news stories using the Fresco app, pay a few bills, add money to my son’s school lunch account, reserve a taxi, change my seat on my flight, check the weather, download and begin reading “The Innovators”, Walter Isaacson’s new book, take some photos, text those photos, use the Waze App for directions, research a new digital audio recorder for video production, check out a new scientific learning toy for my son….That’s just what I can quickly think of off the top of my head, all done before 2:00PM. Not to mention, I’m writing this piece on my laptop while connected to inflight wifi on a flight from Atlanta to New York.

It’s no wonder that Juror #3 decided to sneak a laptop into his sequestration hotel room. Again, at least it was determined that he viewed sports sites and did not look up news about the trial that he is helping to determine the outcome of. Going forward, I think courts will have to entertain the concept of providing jurors with a filtered internet service. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to “shut off” and not use the internet for any length of time. People are on their smartphones nonstop, as evidence by our story “Smartphone Life“. I think in the future, we really can’t expect jurors to totally turn off. We, as humans, are literally evolving exponentially right before our eyes, to the point where technology is truly a part of our being. I predict that this issue will be brought to the forefront and courts will determine a way to allow jurors to have some kind of limited access to going online. It’s just a matter of time.

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