JUROR PROHIBITIONS, INCLUDING JUROR USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES, UPON SEPARATION FOLLOWING VOIR DIRE AND BEFORE THE START OF TRIAL
You have each been chosen to serve as jurors in this case, with the trial to begin on _______________(date). As jurors, you will be deciding the facts of the case at trial. Even though the trial has not yet started, you now take on some of the obligations that judges must observe.
You must not conduct any research or investigation into this case. For now, all that we have heard about the case are the charge brought against _______________(Defendant), the names of witnesses who might testify, and some suggestions about what the evidence might be. But you must base your decision in this case solely on the evidence actually presented and admitted during the trial, and the instructions that I shall give you. You must not seek out or use any outside material to learn more about the case. You must not refer to books or the internet. As examples, you must not look for information from Google, Wikipedia, blogs, or other web sites. Do not search for or receive any information about the parties, the lawyers, the witnesses, the judge, the evidence you will hear, or any place or location that might have been mentioned. Do not research the law. Do not look up the meaning of any words or phrases you have heard in connection with this case. If necessary, I shall define the important words and phrases for you before you begin your deliberations.
Also, you are not allowed to visit any place or places involved in this case. If you normally travel through such places, you should try to take different routes until after the trial is over. If you cannot take a different route, and you find yourself traveling through a place that is involved in this case, you must not stop or attempt to gather any information from that location.
If you violate these instructions by receiving outside information about this case, I might have to disqualify you from service as a juror. We don’t want to lose any of our chosen jurors. The loss of any juror could affect the conduct of the trial. If that happens, much of the work put into this case might be wasted.
From now until your jury service is complete, do not communicate with anyone, including family and friends, about what you have heard about the evidence or issues in this case. This prohibition applies to all forms of communication, including in-person conversations, written communications, phone calls, and electronic communication through any device. As examples, you must not communicate about this case using email, text messaging, Twitter, blogging, or social media such as Facebook. Please do not post on social media that you are a juror for this case. One of your friends or followers might know something about the case or the people involved, and he or she might respond with information that would be inappropriate for you to learn. Also, you must not discuss the case with any of your fellow jurors until your deliberations begin at the end of the trial.
Between now and the time of the trial, you may communicate with others, but you must not communicate about this case. You may use the internet, but only for purposes that are not related to this case. You may tell others that you are on a jury, and about the estimated schedule, but you must not tell them anything else about the case. If anyone tries to communicate with you about this case, you must stop the communication immediately and report it to the Clerk or the Court Officer. The Clerk or Court Officer will then report it to me.
When we get together again to begin the trial, I shall ask you some questions. These will include whether, from today to the time of the trial, you have heard anything about this case or the witnesses mentioned; whether you have read, viewed, or listened to any media reports about this case; whether anyone has talked with you about this case; whether you have been subject to any outside influences; and whether there is any reason why you feel that you cannot fairly consider the evidence at trial and give a fair decision.
I hope that by observing these rules to avoid outside influences, you will be able to serve as jurors in this case. Your ability to serve at trial fairly and impartially is important to all of us, and to our system of justice. We appreciate your service as jurors, and your diligence in avoiding outside influences. We’ll see you again, at the trial on _______________(date). Thank you.