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Friday, April 2, 2010

Jurors: No Web for You!

I've not had the pleasure, but I've always been eager to serve on a jury. But ouch—serving on a jury could kill my blog stats!

Across the nation, courts are struggling to catch up with and reign in the runaway use of new media. Georgia judges are mulling a modification to jury instructions that would specifically warn jurors not to use Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google....

Earlier this year, federal courts led the way on the issue by adopting a set of so-called "Twitter instructions" for district judges to deter jurors' use of electronic devices or media. The instructions are to be read to jurors at the start of trial and before deliberations. They also warn against visits to any Internet chat room, blog or Web site such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter [Andria Simmons, "Georgia Court to Bar Jurors from Internet," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2010.03.30].

My debate judging experience helps me understand the need to keep jurors away from outside information and focused strictly on the information the contending parties present. But to spend a long trial offline—oh, the price of citizenship!


  1. No ! It's the Journal-Constitution !!!

  2. Correction made -- thanks! (I'm just so used to putting the Constitution first....)


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