Lighter Side: Murder trial juror slammed by judge after downloading “how to deliberate” guide

by Sophie Schroder11 Jul 2014
A juror in a major Australian murder trial has felt the wrath of an annoyed judge after downloading a “how to deliberate” guide from the internet, despite being warned about seeking outside help.

The juror, who was acting in the Gerard Baden-Clay murder trial, made the mistake of downloading an overseas commentator’s guide to jury deliberations from the internet, The Australian reported.

After less than two hours of deliberations, a furious Justice John Byrne called the seven-man, five-woman jury back into the courtroom to issue a stern warning.

“I had expected that my direction, given twice orally and once in writing that you must not inquire outside the courtroom about anything (that relates) to the trial was clear and emphatic,” he said. “What was done was wrong.”

The judge pointed out that the jury have already been given a court-approved guide to jury deliberations, and said the juror “scarcely” needs to know what an overseas commentator speaking about a different system thinks.

The document was swiftly confiscated.

Baden-Clay is accused of murdering his wife, Allison Baden-Clay in April 2012. The former real estate agent has pleaded not guilty.

Yesterday marked the 18th day of the trial, where Judge Byrne finished his summing up to the jury.