Trial Is Aborted When Judge Finds Out Jury Is Playing Sudoku Instead of Listening

After 105 witnesses and 3 months of evidence, a drug trial costing $1 million was aborted when it was discovered that jurors had been playing Sudoku since the second week of the trial. In the District Court in Sydney, Australia, Judge Peter Zahra discharged the jury after hearing evidence from two accused men, one of their attorneys, and the jury foreman that the jurors had been diverting their attention from the trial to the popular numbers game. More than 20 police gave evidence in the case of two defendants who faced charges on conspiracy to manufacture amphetamines and firearms charges. The prosecution and defense were to deliver their final arguments the day the issue with the jury was discovered. The trial had cost more than $1 million, including attorney fees, staff wages, and court operating costs for 60 days of trial. There is no law against the jury being inattentive, so all the judge could do was call a mistrial. The prosecution now must decide whether to recommence the proceedings with new jurors, or call for an entirely new trial at a later date.