Jurors Using Social Media in Our Courts: Challenges and Responses
Journal of Judicial Administration, 23: 35-57, 2013
23 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2013 Last revised: 19 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2013
This article considers the use of social media by jurors during the trial and deliberation processes. The article presents examples of such conduct from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The article considers research on why jurors use social media, and discusses the likely prevalence of the issue. The article then discusses the risks this conduct presents to the defendant’s right to a fair trial and the administration of justice generally. Possible solutions are examined, including banning telecommunication devices, requiring jurors to take an oath and developing specific jury instructions. Research on the effectiveness of jury instructions is reviewed, and future directions for research, policy and practice noted.
Keywords: juries, social media, trials, defendant, Facebook, judicial instructions
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