How much more detailed are jury instructions going to have to be regarding communications via social media during deliberations? Obviously, A. Great. Deal. More. Clear. One juror in a Detroit courtroom proved that this week, when she posted to Facebook how much she was looking forward to delivering a guilty verdict to the defendant. At that point in time, the trial wasn't even over.
Social media and juries are strange new "friends" and as always, the law is running to keep up with the technology. As discussed in a previous post, new model jury instructions have already been proposed to include a prohibition on use of the internet to research the case in progress. However, this case of Detroit juror Hadley Jons Facebooking a premature (to say the least) guilty verdict, is a call to action for litigators in several ways.