Jury Instructions/ The Digital Age

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Jury Instructions/ The Digital Age

Judges routinely admonish jurors only to consider the evidence presented to them at trial, and not to consider outside information. Do not look at the TV or read the papers. So how is this working in digital age? Not well. There are numerous reports of  jurors going online to research and comment on cases which they are hearing.

Surely these instructions were easier to follow in a simpler time. Checking expert testimony required a trip to the library, and viewing the crime scene required physically going there. Today, everything is at the juror’s fingertips ‐‐ including satellite and street images of locations where crimes may have occurred. On the other hand …

You could post an article or set up web sites that contain content unfavorable to your client, and then drive traffic to the site by buying Google AdWords so that your site will be at the top of any search. Next, you monitor all of the IP addresses of those who visit the site, trace those you can back to the jurors, and use the information to protest the verdict if it goes against you …

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