Should Jurors Use the Internet?

9 Pages Posted: 8 May 2010 Last revised: 2 Jul 2014

See all articles by Gareth S. Lacy

Gareth S. Lacy

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: May 5, 2010


During trials jurors are increasingly using cell phones and other devices capable of accessing the Internet. Courts are responding by amending court rules to explicitly ban these devices. This Article points out problems with those new rules. This Article also reviews scientific literature on the effect of pretrial publicity on jury decision-making to conclude the fear of outside Internet research may be unwarranted. By challenging the arguments against allowing jurors to conduct outside research, this Article seeks to broaden the discussion about what it takes to keep the American jury system working capably.

Keywords: cell phones, jury, courtroom technology, pretrial publicity, jury internet use, juror internet use

Suggested Citation

Lacy, Gareth S., Should Jurors Use the Internet? (May 5, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Gareth S. Lacy (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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