Revised Jury Instructions Include Repeated Social Media Warnings


Federal judges should repeatedly warn jurors not to discuss cases they're deliberating on social media or the Internet, according to recommendations from the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management.

The Committee issued updated model jury instructions recommended for use by federal judges. The update includes reminders about social media, which are to be given before and at the close of trial.

“Information on the internet or available through social media might be wrong, incomplete, or inaccurate,” the update recommends instructing jurors. “You are only permitted to discuss the case with your fellow jurors during deliberations because they have seen and heard the same evidence you have.”

The update was made in response to a national survey of federal trial judges by the Federal Judicial Center, in which respondents reported that jurors needed frequent reminders about social media.

Read the Proposed Model Jury Instructions HERE.

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