The doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death has asked a judge to sequester jurors in the physician's upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial, citing coverage of the Casey Anthony case and the threat of information leaks posed by Twitter and Facebook use...to continue reading this story go here.
If the prosecutors handling the Casey Anthony murder trial have their way Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network will be removed from the approved list of channels that jurors can watch during the trial and deliberations. Yesterday, the judge handling the case issued an approved list of TV channels that the sequestered jury would be able to watch. The state, however, objected to Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network. This objection may be withdrawn if the prosecution can see the programming schedule for the channels for the months of May, June and July.
In addition to regulating what channels jurors can watch, the trial judge might want to provide jurors with the most recent version of the Ohio Jury Instructions regarding the influence of law related television programs.
3. WARNING ON OUTSIDE INFLUENCE. The effort to exclude misleading outside influences information also puts a limit on getting legal information from television entertainment. This would apply to popular TV shows such as Law and Order, Boston Legal, Judge Judy, older shows like L.A. Law, Perry Mason, or Matlock, and any other fictional show dealing with the legal system. In addition, this would apply to shows such as CSI and NCIS, which present the use of scientific procedures to resolve criminal investigations. These and other similar shows may leave you with an improper preconceived idea about the legal system. As far as this case is concerned, you are not prohibited from watching such shows. However, there are many reasons why you cannot rely on TV legal programs, including the fact that these shows: (1) are not subject to the rules of evidence and legal safeguards that apply in this courtroom, and (2) are works of fiction that present unrealistic situations for dramatic effect. While entertaining, TV legal dramas condense,distort, or even ignore many procedures that take place in real cases and real courtrooms. No matter how convincing they try to be, these shows simply cannot depict the reality of an actual trial or investigation. You must put aside anything you think you know about the legal system that you saw on TV.