On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

May 26, 2010
New Jury Instruction Addresses New Media Concerns

An Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) committee this week approved a new jury instruction to limit access to new media while Ohioans serve on juries.

The new instruction advises jurors not to obtain any information about a criminal or civil trial from outside sources such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or their iPhone while serving on a jury. Before a trial begins, jurors are warned to refrain from discussing a case and seeking outside information about a case and to limit their knowledge about the facts of the case to what is presented in court.

Just last month, during the Ohio Jury Management Association’s 12th annual Jury Service Conference, the issue of how social media affects jury behavior was one of the main discussion points.

In an address to the group, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger provided insight into the different kinds of social media, what problems this new technology presents, and what can be done to minimize some of the negative consequences that arise.

“There are real challenges today to the management of jurors – certain controls over the judicial process we once had are vanishing from the courts because of the stunning rise of technology,” Justice Lanzinger said. “Misuse of any one of them has the potential to affect jurors and the ability of judges to obtain fair trials in the courtroom.”

It was noted at the event that the Conference of Court Public Information Officers is engaged in a year-long national research project to systematically examine new media and analyze its potential effects on the courts.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.