Despite a front-page story in the Toronto Star last week, Ontario jurors have not been granted the right to Google information about defendants in criminal trials.
Yes, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of two cocaine dealers – Lucas and Leonard Farinacci Jr. – who had appealed after learning a juror in their case looked them up on the Internet, in direct contravention of the trial judge’s instructions.
But no, that does not mean the way is clear for search-engine justice, media lawyer Iain MacKinnon tells Yahoo Canada.
“The appeal judges knew what information the jurors had found, and didn’t think it was so significant and material and influential that it had any impact on their verdict,” says MacKinnon, who represented several media outlets – including the Star – in successfully asking that a publication ban on the case be lifted.
“It wasn’t so prejudicial that it would violate their Charter rights, and therefore would be tossed out.”
The juror in question wasRead More »from Five things you may not know about being on a jury in Canada