Tweeting Jurors Causing Judicial Headaches
Last November, the Federal Judicial Center published a report on Jurors' Use of Social Media During Trials and Deliberations, which concluded that despite various prevention efforts, jurors continue to use social media.
The Hon. Amy J. St. Eve, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois recently conducted her own informal poll on this topic which was published just last week in the Duke Law & Technology Review called Ensuring An Impartial Jury In The Age Of Social Media. Her conclusion was that strong jury instructions on social media use does work.
Some courts think the best approach is to take draconian steps like technology bans in the courthouse, threatening contempt, and requiring jurors to sign written pledges not to communicate about the case through social media.
Lawyers have also gotten into the act and decided that the best way to ensure compliance is to do their own investigations and actually monitor jurors for misconduct using products like X1 Social Discovery, reports John Patzakis, president and CEO of X1 Discovery.
Considering the growing level of social media addiction, it is probably going to take all three — strong jury instructions, draconian measures, and monitoring to stop social media from encroaching into the judicial process.
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