Courts use Facebook to bounce biased juror

  How do you find out if a juror might sympathize with the defense? You Facebook them, of course! According to The Wall Street Journal, it seems the U.S. court system is beginning to take its cues from HR departments that, for years now, have screened potential applicants using social networking sites. “Facebook is increasingly being used in courts to decide who is‚ and who isn’t‚ suitable to serve on a jury, the latest way in which the social-networking site is altering the U.S. court system,” the article notes. Some critics argue that the practice, which is legal, will deliver “out-of-context” information to the lawyers. Still, many lawyers consider Facebooking an effect way to glean useful information. For example, David Cannon, a Los Angeles-based trial consultant, found that one of the jurors tried to contact aliens. Cannon “discovered on blogs that a potential juror in a personal-injury case had made extensive attempts to contact extraterrestrials. He recommended that his clients, who were representing the defendants, not select her. ‘It just showed an instability,’ he said.”

 

 

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