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Federal Judges Wary of Facebook, Twitter Impact On Juries 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-farmville-in-the-jury-box dept.
coondoggie writes "The impact of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and others on federal juries is a concern that judges are frequently taking steps to curb. According to a study 94% of the 508 federal judges who responded said they have specifically barred jurors from any case-connected use of social media."
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Federal Judges Wary of Facebook, Twitter Impact On Juries

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:25PM (#38821205)

    IMO rules about this sort of thing fall into the category of "people really shouldn't need to be told".

    When you participate on a jury, you are prohibited from communicating anything related to the case with anybody outside of the jury deliberation chambers. End of story. Whether you communicate the information face-to-face, via e-mail, or through Facebook or Twitter really shouldn't matter.

    But of course there are idiots throughout society, so multiple, redundant rules need to be enacted to try and prevent problems.

  • by CorporalKlinger (871715) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:25PM (#38821207)
    Being a juror stinks - I think most everyone agrees on that. But the rationale behind restrictions like this makes sense: communication about the case outside the courtroom may result in a juror's opinion being changed by friends, family, Facebook contacts, etc.

    It's hard for some people to slow down and refrain from tweeting of Facebook posting every last thing they do every day... but I'm sure we'd all appreciate a fair trial without undue influence from bystanders who don't know all of the facts if we ever find ourselves seated at the defendant's table one day...

    This is one time when following the rules can have enormous consequences. Far too many people see jury duty as a joke, or otherwise don't follow the rules in other areas of their life (parking in handicapped spots to run into the store for "just a minute," taking things from work because "nobody will miss it") and this transfers to abiding by the rules set forth by the judge at trial. It's a joke for some people - and that's just disrespectful.
  • by NoahsMyBro (569357) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:27PM (#38821229)

    (reposting, as myself.)

    IMO rules about this sort of thing fall into the category of "people really shouldn't need to be told".

    When you participate on a jury, you are prohibited from communicating anything related to the case with anybody outside of the jury deliberation chambers. End of story. Whether you communicate the information face-to-face, via e-mail, or through Facebook or Twitter really shouldn't matter.

    But of course there are idiots throughout society, so multiple, redundant rules need to be enacted to try and prevent problems.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:27PM (#38821231)
    I don't see why social media should be treated differently than any other media with respect to jurors. It's simple: don't expose yourself to prejudicial opinions or information. Adding "social media" to the list of sources that can contaminate a jury just shows that judges know their business. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • by mr1911 (1942298) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:49PM (#38821473)

    but I can understand people being frustrated having to park a block away when there's not just one or two handicap spots going unused.

    Imagine the frustration of being handicapped and having to park a block away when some douche is taking up the limited handicapped spaces.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @03:30PM (#38821913)

    But of course there are idiots throughout society, so multiple, redundant rules need to be enacted to try and prevent problems.

    They're especially common on juries. All the smart people I knew get kicked out by the lawyers who want to be the ones in control.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @03:57PM (#38822229) Homepage

    The handicap spots I kind of understand, I don't park in those ever, but I can understand people being frustrated having to park a block away when there's not just one or two handicap spots going unused.

    Try getting a quadraplegic in an electric wheel chair out of a van in the winter when some asshole decided it would be more convenient if he took the handicap space.

    I have done this, and it's hugely difficult. An electric wheel chair weighs something like 250-300 pounds, so getting one unstuck is a hell of a job.

    So, in my experience, parking in the disabled spot when you're not supposed to is being a douche. Right up there with the people who park in the no parking zone in front of stores so they can wait for their spouse to run in quickly ... nobody else cares, and you're blocking traffic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @04:45PM (#38822755)
    oddly enough, as someone who is able to walk a few blocks without too much difficulty, i cannot actually imagine the frustration in your scenario.
  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @04:57PM (#38822879)

    No, because then we'd have to vote, and it would take months to count up them all up.

    But actually, Nancy Grace is one of those people that just makes me mad thinking about it. She symbolizes what's completely broken with CNN Headline News by being a loud obnoxious talking head that prattles on endlessly about unimportant stuff. She also symbolizes what's completely broken about prosecutors: everyone is assumed guilty by default and it's more important to keep the public outraged or frightened than to get at the truth. The only good thing about Nancy Grace is that she's no longer a practicing prosecutor.

    It's CNN damn it, I want to see NEWS when I switch the channel to HEADLINE NEWS not some hysteria about Caylee.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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