I don't know what triggered it but I began thinking of our legal system here in the U.S. and how the jury can so easily be influenced by mainstream media and outside interactions. The only case where this might not be the case is when the topic is one mainstream media has not covered, or the jury is sequestered.
It corrupts our concept of a right to a fair trial...
It is difficult to have a fair trial when the media is attacking something continuously. It goes from being fair to instead become essentially a Kangaroo Court. You go from having a Republic to having a Banana Republic.
Could we solve this with technology?
People right now can demand a jury trial. What if you could demand a mega jury trial? This is a silly name I only thought up a few minutes ago when I was trying to come up with a label about my thoughts.
Citizens could sign up as mega jurors. It would be voluntary. Their personal information would be known, so you would not be able to do this anonymously. You could only have one account.
A mega juror could choose to follow any open mega juror case as long as they did so from the beginning.
The court proceedings would be streamed to them.
When a particular live proceeding ended then have it so from a pool of five questions two are selected at random that they must answer within 5 minutes of the end of that selection.
If they answer correctly it would indicate they followed the information and were paying attention and they can continue as a juror.
If they answer incorrectly or in insufficient time they are removed from the mega juror pool.
If they make it all the way through the process they would essentially be able to act as individual voluntary jurors and the fact they answered the questions in a timely manner and correctly would indicate they were paying attention. You thus will know they are informed and understood the evidence and presentations that were provided. I'd think this process could also eliminate sitting jurors who are not paying attention.
Why these limits?
I said 5 minutes to answer the questions as just an arbitrary number I came up with. Ideally I'd say it could be shorter than that as the questions would likely be multiple choice. The reason this is done and that the questions are chosen randomly is so someone cannot get a lot of people to be jurors and tell them what the answers are without them having to pay attention. This could be used to manipulate and control the jury. The goal is to avoid that thus the timer, and the randomness.
As to the questions the attorneys in question would provide the questions and answers to go along with their presentation that are sealed and only go live (digitally) at the end of their presentation and for 2, 5, or however many minutes it is set for.
It could likely still be compromised if say the attorneys leaked this information before they presented it outside of the trial. If that can be proven then disbarment, fines, and jail time should be immediate as well as the trial being declared a mistrial.
Nothing is perfect. Yet I do think we could possibly return to a system where the jurors are paying attention, and they are well informed. We could allow as many people that wanted to participate in a trial to do so as long as they adhere to these guidelines.
Also as indicated this would be a choice of those in the trial. They have the right to demand a jury trial, why not be able to demand a mega jury trial?
The 6th amendment demands and impartial jury of the state and district where the crime was committed. The process could screen for that as well. You could optionally have some questions each side comes up with and are agreed to that can be an attempt to screen for impartiality.
This is a new musing for me. Let me know what you think. The idea isn't even 30 minutes old in my own head as I write this so I bet there are plenty of things I didn't consider.
EDIT: We might even be able to pay people for being jurors, though I am uncertain on that yet. If they are providing a service to society it is something worth considering. Do it based upon the length of the trial maybe.