Massachusetts Jury Duty Rule: Ixnay On The Social Media
In Massachusetts, judges must instruct juries on social media protocol before deliberations commence. What is the protocol? No posting about the case while in deliberations and no communicating with other jury members electronically.
Taxpayers Foot The Bill For Mistrials
Why do Massachusetts jury duty rules include social media instructions? Because the number of mistrials has skyrocketed thanks to social media shenanigans. So, to hammer home the fiscal point, MA judges explain the taxpayer burden generated by mistrials.
Jail For Jury Social Media Misconduct?
Massachusetts jury duty standards, though arguably strict, are nothing compared to U.K. rules.
In 2011, a UK judge declared that jurors must be jailed for misusing the Internet during trials. The ruling came after a £6million drug trial went bust because two jurors chatted via Facebook during parts of the trial.
So, if you get called up for jury duty, whether you live in Massachusetts or anywhere else in the United States, if you want to cover yourself, leave Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alone during the course of the trial. If not, you could be sanctioned and fined — and incur the wrath of other taxpayers.