Fuming judge dismisses murder trial jury due to web report

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Victoria Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry dismissed a jury hearing a murder trial because of a report published by Yahoo7 which included prejudicial material.
 
According to SBS, Sydney journalist Krystal Johnson who wrote the report relied heavily on a Herald Sun story but added information to the report.
 
Lasry has summoned Johnson for an explanation and said she could be held in contempt of the court.
 
“If she’s not in Melbourne then she can be brought to Melbourne. I want this explained to me,” the judge said. “To publish this material is…scandalous.”
 
The Australian said that the Herald Sun report Johnson based hers on was described in court as “not problematic,” with the judge finding fault only with the Yahoo7 report.
 
“Unfortunately this material contains other information which should never have seen the light of day in the public media and which has had a significantly adverse effect on the future of this trial,” the judge said, later apologising to the family of the victim.
 
No later trial date has been set yet.
 
According to SBS, Johnson, who is a 2014 journalism graduate from Sydney’s Macleay College, is a morning news producer at Yahoo 7.
 
  • N Grace on 24/08/2016 1:14:26 PM

    Not surprising. This matter draws attention to the adequacy of post-secondary qualifications including those for professions. In this case the recent graduate-journalist's media law knowledge is called sharply into question. The standard of graduates emerging from the swollen halls of educational providers is a serious matter for the nation that requires urgent review. Public educational institutions are not immune from the view that standards have fallen far too low; these 'self-accrediting' providers are grossly inadequately monitored for compliance by the national regulator. An entertainer and media personality that has undertaken a career change by doing a law degree was recently witnessed providing a tv show audience with legal 'facts'. This would not have been surprising except that the novice student has not yet been admitted to practice and unfortunately (for the audience) the points made on the status of the law were inaccurate or wrong. Universities, and their regulator, have a great deal to answer for and a lot of work to do to ensure the standards of knowledge and the conduct of those entering the professions are at least adequate.

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