Social Media Use as Evidence of Juror Misconduct
Jury service is an important element of civic participation but necessarily involves hours of waiting and quiet observation of proceedings, evoking for some a hunger for expression or quick entertainment. Smartphones, with easy social networking capabilities, give jurors an avenue to let off steam but also to disobey the court's instructions and discuss elements of the case before the trial is complete. A juror who comments about a case on the internet may invite responses that include extraneous information about the case or efforts by social media "friends" to exercise persuasion and influence, potentially marring the integrity of the proceedings or causing a mistrial.
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