Members Instructions on new “media.”

Jury instructions to include rules on use of new media

Recent incidents of jurors using new media during cases in civilian courtrooms in the States have led a military judge to rework instructions given to panelists in military courts-martial.

Army Col. Ted Dixon, a military judge who edits the military judges’ benchbook, said he’s not aware of any cases of a servicemember posting information on an ongoing court-martial while serving as a juror, but he’s aware of such events in the civilian world.

As a result of cases like these, Dixon said he’s been working on specific language addressing networking phenomena such as Twitter and Facebook that judges would use when instructing troops who sit on court-martial panels. Fellow judges have been providing him feedback and there seems to be a general consensus, he said.

Kent Harris, Stars & Stripes, 21 June 2009.