Savannah Hall

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In a criminal trial, the presentation of evidence and the instruction of law to the jury are of crucial importance to ensure that a person is only convicted based upon sound understandings of the factual and legal framework under which they were charged. The complexities surrounding the rules of evidence are in place so that jurors are only allowed to consider the facts and testimony permissible under the rules of evidence, meaning it is of utmost importance for the jury to consider solely those things which a judge deems admissible, relevant, and helpful to understanding the case. However, given the technological nature of modern society and the vast availability of an Internet connection, it has become increasingly difficult to keep jurors confined in the bubble of information which is supposed to surround them at trial. The legal remedies for a guilty verdict rendered based on extrajudicial information obtained by the jury are firmly established. Nevertheless, it is time for the federal and state legislatures to further assess the issue to move the criminal justice system away from wrongful convictions and towards a trustworthy system of justice which ensures fairness and upholds the constitutional rights of those accused of a crime.