A member of a jury was issued a fine of over $11,000 by the judge because he did his own research into the case he was on, despite the jurors being instructed by the judge not to. The individual did his own research, and then shared that information with the other jurors. One of the other jurors reported it to the judge. The judge then declared a mistrial. The name of the juror is Stephen Meile, from Lumberton, New Jersey. The judge was Robert B. Kugler of the U.S. District Court. The case in question concerned a Nicaraguan immigrant who had become a permanent resident but was then accused of assaulting an immigration enforcement officer. The immigrant had been convicted of crimes in New Jersey state court in 2002 and 2005, which then led to federal officials seeking his deportation in 2017. It is not clear what exactly the research that the juror did was about. The Court ordered the jurors to not visit the scene, conduct experiments, consult reference works or dictionaries, or search the internet, websites or blogs for additional information, or use any other method to obtain information about the case, or anyone involved in the case. Juror Fined More Than $11,000 for Doing His Own Research, Causing Mistrial in Case of Alleged Assault on Immigration Officer (msn.com) I am a little conflicted about this. It seems that jurors are tasked with making a decision based on the evidence, but only the evidence they are allowed to hear. It is of course understandable why they would not want the jury to be prejudiced by information that should not be relevant, or would not be fair to the defendant to consider. But then the issue is who is the one deciding which information falls under that category. Doesn't that defeat some of the purpose of having a jury in the first place? The jury might not really be truly deciding the case. They are deciding the case based on the information the judge has decided they should hear. If I was a juror I would have a very difficult time coming to a decision while knowing there might be some crucial piece of evidence that the judge is not permitting one of the sides to tell. Just a thought, but maybe they should allow the jury to come to a verdict first, based on the selective information they are allowed to hear, and then afterwards ask the jury to tell if they would have changed their decision after being allowed to hear all the information and evidence. That might help another appeal judge know whether the withholding of certain information may have affected the outcome of the case, so they can better know what to examine when they are questioning whether it was fair.