May 18, 2006
Sort of a News of the Weird type item. You try a murder case in which the prosecution submits tissue sample slides of the victim. You go to grab a sandwich while the jury is deliberating, but hustle back to the courtroom when the bailiff calls and tells you the jury has a question. You're hoping it's something like a request to reread the instructions on reasonable doubt or the lesser included offenses, and not "Do we get to send this guy away for a really long time, or does the judge get all the fun?" When you get there, you find the jury wants a microscope brought into the deliberation room to allow them to view the slide evidence, because one of the jurors is a "trained and certified microbiologist."
The trial court says no, and the court in State v. Pudelski agrees that that's just a tad over the top in terms of the jury doing its own investigation.
I think I saw something like that on an episode of Quincy once.