Not much has changed in the jury trial system that's been around for hundreds of years.... But what has changed is the advancing accessibility to information that could affect their opinions.
“Jurors will get an idea of what they think a case is about, they will then go online and start researching it. which is absolutely against the court rules. you're absolutely prohibited from doing that.” said Attorney John Whitaker.
Attorneys say social media makes it easy for anyone to put their opinion in the public's eye right from their fingertips, which could give jurors misinformation about cases.
“Well, it a bad thing in that there are a lot of people who talk about cases and don't know what they're talking about.” said Whitaker.
Whitaker says recent advances in technology and social media have made more cases get dismissed. The job of a jury is to only use the information presented in the case.
And the only way attorneys can fight the constant stream of information to jurors... Is by hoping they picked the right people for the job, who will respect the oath they've taken.
“If the system gets to the point where jurors are running around and doing their own independent research, then the system is going to fail because what's going to happen is that you're going to have cases decided on things or on facts that are not properly before the jury.” said Whitaker.