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California

Juror in child molester case removed for using dictionaries

Judge finds juror committed ‘serious, willful misconduct’ for using standard dictionaries to look up a critical word during deliberations.

SANTA ANA – A juror was removed for misconduct Wednesday for using dictionaries to look up a word during deliberations in a trial to determine whether a twice-convicted child molester should remain locked up in a mental hospital as a sexually violent predator.

The juror referenced the word “likely” in a dictionary at home and brought another dictionary into the deliberating room, disobeying repeated admonishments from Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King that jurors refrain from independent research. Full Article

Note: the article was available earlier without a subscription… is it viewable?

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Time to fire these type of judges.

The OCR site is funny. First you see the teaser and have to log in and then when you refresh it shows the entire article??? Their technology seems on par with their reporting standards.

Here are some excerpts:

“The juror referenced the word “likely” in a dictionary at home and brought another dictionary into the deliberating room, disobeying repeated admonishments from Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King that jurors refrain from independent research.”

“One of the things county Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner must prove to keep Landau in a mental hospital as a sexually violent predator is whether it is “likely” he would re-offend if released. Wagner argued during a four-week trial that Landau is a pedophile. “He is a lifelong child molester,” Wagner said, “and there is no evidence of change.””

This is, of course, as expected. Why let pesky things like facts or definitions per the dictionary (gasp!) get in the way?

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