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Recently there have been several cases of jurors who use Facebook to communicate with the accused in trials, who tweet their intentions before cases even start, and who use the internet to research the trials they are participating in. Just last week, the juror who used Facebook to communicate with a defendant was jailed for eight months ( But is this a limitation of the jury system or its greatest strength? Trial by jury has been used in the UK for hundreds of years, and the selection of twelve unconnected people to hear evidence has, for the most part, resulted in fair and just decisions. The spread of the internet and the availability of information has radically changed the way people find things out. So much information is available online that we take it for granted. We're also a lot more susceptible to believe biased information. So what future is there for the jury system in the social media age? There is still no fairer way to try a defendant, but the imprisonment of the 'Facebook juror' has sent out a pretty strong message that a jury must remain impartial. In this case, a £6 million trial collapsed because of the contact between juror and defendant, and in other cases jurors have been dismissed. Historically there have been problems due to jurors listening to TV or radio reports which may prejudice their opinion, but social media is only recently beginning to be a problem. As with all other forms pf public life, the court system needs to adapt to the modern world, and at the very least needs to ensure defendants have the opportunity to have a fair trial, especially since the internet can be an even more biased place than the TV or newspapers. Is it time the legal system moved away from an archaic form of trial? Do you think a Facebook poll is a fairer way to try misdemeanours? Please leave your comments either on here or on Twitter - @chrisfivemarsh (Photo: Miller and Zois)