Suduko-Playing Jurors End Trial

In Australia, a drug conspiracy trial ended abruptly this week after the judge discovered jurors had been passing the time in court playing Sudoku. The trial cost Australian taxpayers about $1 million.

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

Sitting in a jury box can sometimes be as mind-numbing as sitting in the cab of a truck staring at the open road. This week, a jury panel in Sydney, Australia was dismissed after the judge discovered they were passing the time playing Sudoku.

The defendants: two men charged of conspiring to manufacture amphetamines. Drug conspiracy, potentially interesting stuff. But the trial was half-way into its fourth month and there had already been 105 witnesses. Whew. Then someone in the courtroom noticed that the jurors were writing vertically as well as horizontally. Hmm, strange way to take notes. So the judge asked the four women what was going on. She confessed. She and four other jurors had been photocopying the addictive puzzles, sharing them and comparing results over lunch. The trial, by the way, cost Australian taxpayers about a million dollars. It'll start again after a new jury is picked.

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