Friday, 19 April 2013

Juror jailed for texting: Judge makes him example to fellow jurors

Juror jailed for texting: Judge makes him example to fellow jurors, A judge ordered a juror to be jailed for texting when he was caught doing it during a court hearing Tuesday. KATU reports April 18 that Judge Dennis Graves noticed Benjamin Kohler of Salem, Ore. texting when video evidence was playing. He called for a recess, but kept Kohler behind to reprimand him.

Kohler was arrested and charged with contempt of court. There is no bail for this charge. An alternate juror replaced Kohler.

Judge Graves said this in front of Kohler's fellow jurors:

"The duty to serve as a juror must be taken very seriously. Every juror has the responsibility to devote his entire attention to the witnesses and evidence being presented. In this case, Mr. Kohler failed to meet his obligations and failed to honor the direction of this court. My hope is that he will use his time in jail to reflect upon his behavior."

The judge wanted to ensure jurors in the courtroom understood that it's not a smart move to text while in session. Kohler was serving on a criminal case and his attention was diverted elsewhere. Whatever video was playing was something that required his sole focus before the judge caught him texting on his phone.

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