Trial via social media a problem for courts


One British juror who could not reach a verdict on a child abduction and sexual assault trial turned naturally to Facebook.

''I don't know which way to go, so I'm holding a poll,'' she announced.

Another sitting on a drugs trial befriended the accused and traded messages with him on Facebook.

But a Californian juror needed no such help. ''Guilty! He's guilty! I can tell!'' he tweeted.

In the age of social media, the only way to guarantee that jurors are not exposed to prejudicial material about their trials would be to abolish juries altogether, according to a report commissioned by the Australian attorneys-general.

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