A new list of instructions handed down by the Federal Judicial Conference Committee on Friday explicitly bans the use of social networking in the courthouse throughout cases.
Judges concerned that jurors may engage in a bit of external research or leak details about the case are now instructing jury participants to switch off their Smartphones during the day.
Drafted in June and announced on Friday the new guidelines explains to judges how they can push jurors away from Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter. Under the guidelines judges are instructed to explain social network at the start and end of each day and whenever else they deem appropriate.
Judge Julie Robinson, the Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management chair, revealed in a statement:
“Jurors should be told why refraining from use of social media promotes a fair trial. Finally, jurors should know the consequences of violations during trial, such as mistrial and wasted time.”
The guidelines were chosen after a national survey of federal judges found rampant abuse of social media during federal court cases.
The guidelines ask that judges instruct jurors to rat one another out when social media is being used.