Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dangers of the Online Juror: A world wired for instant information can create problems in court.

"I was called for jury duty recently, and as I waited for the selection process to begin, I marveled at the number of people thumbing away at their BlackBerrys, iPhones, and other web-enabled wireless devices. Although most of them were probably checking in with work or sending mundane messages about having a spouse pick up the kids from soccer practice, it struck me that if any of my fellow panelists were actually picked, precious little could be done to prevent them from accessing the wealth of information laying just a few clicks away.

As it turns out, jurors engaging in such digital digging is a growing problem nationwide, and the explosive growth in popularity of social networking sites like MySpace (more than 125 million users); Facebook (which has surpassed the 300 million mark worldwide); and Twitter (roughly 55 million users and counting) makes it more likely than ever that jurors will leave the privacy of the jury room for cyberspace. The problem with that is that unfiltered “facts” turned up by jurors—facts the other side has no opportunity to examine or rebut—could unfairly taint the trial process.

Consider the following recent examples:" 

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Location Oakland, Ca - Private Investigator