[vii] A third concern regarding the use of social media, and one that is growing, is that of trial participants or observers contacting jurors during the trial. Judge James Zagel, who presided over both prosecutions of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, kept the jurors’ identities in both trials secret until after the trial, arguing in part that it would keep people from trying to contact jurors. This is not an unreasonable fear – the friend of a defendant in Fort Valley, Georgia did try to contact at least one juror through Facebook, and a review of tapes of jailhouse telephone conversations revealed the defendant gave his family members and friends the names of multiple jurors and instructions to contact them during the trial, resulting in a mistrial and an investigation into jury tampering. See http://www.macon.com/2011/06/23/1606284/alleged-jury-tampering-halts-start.html.
[xiii] The American College of Trial Lawyers have a recommended form, at page 6 of their Jury Instructions Cautioning Against Use of the Internet and Social Networking, which can be found at http://www.actl.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=5213
[xv] Examples from Florida, Arizona, New York, and other states have been compiled by the National Center for State Courts and can be found at: http://www.ncsc.org/topics/media-relations/social-media-and-the-courts/state-links.aspx?cat=Jury%20Instructions%20on%20Social%20Media
[xxii] When permitted, jurors write down their questions for a certain witness and give them to the judge, who reviews them with counsel for objections. The permitted questions are then posed to the witness by the judge or counsel. The judge may choose to explain why the unasked questions were not permitted.
[xxiv] Seventh Circuit Bar Association American Jury Project; the report can be found at: http://www.7thcircuitbar.org/associations/1507/files/7th%20Circuit%20American%20Jury%20Project%20Final%20Report.pdf