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Federal Judges Wary of Facebook, Twitter Impact On Juries

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-farmville-in-the-jury-box dept.

Facebook 154

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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frost pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821113)

frost post in thread

iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821131)

It's official: iOS now has more marketshare than Android. Reuters reports that Apple now has more marketshare than Android [reuters.com] , confirming earlier reports by both Neilsen [nielsen.com] and NPD [gigaom.com] .

The clock is ticking, Fandroids.

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821195)

Troll much? iOS has been around a good bit longer then Android - it's always had more marketshare. Now, go back to bed.

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1, Offtopic)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821211)

...so?

that's more sad than it is good news. I love iOS, but, somehow Google can't make a phone that half of it's users dislike?

Competition is good is only an axiom that works when all competitors are competent.

Re:iOS now has more marketshare than Android (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823233)

It's official: iOS now has more marketshare than Android.

In other news, Britney Spears has more market share than Julie Fowlis. And guess what: Who the hell cares?

I for one think its about damn time... (4, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821135)

to start crowdsourcing juries, I mean why bother having 12 people show up ina room when you got half the country saying hes guilty before the trial starts on facebook!

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821177)

Not sure if serious?

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (4, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821451)

Not sure if sentence!

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821615)

Let's ask a jury of our peers! On second thought...

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821719)

Not sure if relevant.

No wait, I'm sure. It's not.

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823607)

The +5 funny for them would indicate otherwise.

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821181)

Yes! In fact, let's give Nancy Grace sovereign power over each human to decide if they should live or die right now!

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (4, Funny)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821619)

Yes! In fact, let's give Nancy Grace sovereign power over each human to decide if they should live or die right now!

I think you have that backwards... we should give every human sovereign power to decide if Nancy Grace should live or die right now...

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I for one think its about damn time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823275)

And you go after Nancy Grace, rather than the far worst twits from Faux News?

Was in jury duty. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821149)

I would have had the first post, but I was in jury duty and the judge wouldn't met let me respond quick enough.

Re:Was in jury duty. (1)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821175)

Pfft! Slashdot isn't Social...

Re:Was in jury duty. (5, Funny)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821461)

I know, at times it borders on anti-social

Re:Was in jury duty. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822597)

Pfft! Slashdot isn't Social...

I know, at times it borders on anti-social

All so-called "social media" is at its core anti-social [demotivers.com] .

As for barring jurors from using facebook and twitter, jurors should be barred from EVER discussing deliberations (like they are in Kanuckistan) or having the media reveal their identity. A jury isn't really independent if they can either be compelled to give the reasons for their decision, or motivated to do so by money or because they are afraid of what the neighbors might think.

Stick to Playing Angry Birds When On The Jury (2)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821159)

Or better yet, hangman on your iPhone with the cute guy/gal sitting next to you in the jury box.
Better than Facebook anyway!

Re:Stick to Playing Angry Birds When On The Jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821779)

Or better yet, hangman on your iPhone with the cute guy/gal sitting next to you in the jury box. Better than Facebook anyway!

Forget hangman and your iPhone. Play with the cute gal sitting next to you in the jury box!

Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821169)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (0)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821319)

O no he's back... This is the sort of cancer that is killing slashdot.

Cluelessness is limitless. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822703)

In my experience, the smart ones are the least likely to try to avoid Jury duty, and the ones
who are merely smart-asses, are the most likely to do so.

I've sat thru a lot of jury voir dire processes, and have never seen people excused for being merely intelligent, educated, or well read.
I've seen news junkies dismissed simply because they had too much prior knowledge of the case, and have been dismissed myself for
being personal friends with the lawyers involved.

The TV/Movie drama of jury consultants carefully hand picking juries just doesn't work in most cases because each side has a limited number of challenges, and there has to be huge money riding on the trial before its even worth the cost. Quite frankly, from what I have read, these consultants have a less than stellar record of success, and once it becomes clear to the jury that they were hand picked by high paid suits they are as likely to view that as a sign of guilt as any thing else.

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822383)

Exactly.

I see no reason for special rules, (and a lot of danger in allowing special rules) for electronic devices or social media.

The prohibition of talking about the trial should be enough. If you can't convince a jury to adhere to that rule you have no hope of making any device or social rules stick either. More rules are not the answer.

Given the current reactionary trend, it wouldn't surprise me to see lawyers start demanding passwords and or confiscating phones or, at the very minimum, demand a list of your screen names.

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (0)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823405)

I see no reason for special rules, (and a lot of danger in allowing special rules) for electronic devices or social media.
The prohibition of talking about the trial should be enough. If you can't convince a jury to adhere to that rule you have no hope of making any device or social rules stick either. More rules are not the answer.

The problem is that people don't take things they heard in one context and apply it in other contexts where they've developed habits.

Picking your nose is a major turn-off. And yet, look how many men you see picking their noses in the "privacy" of their cars (and not-so-private places [youtube.com] ). They know it's embarrassing to be caught picking their noses, and yet not only do they do it while driving, but you can catch the "magic finger" slowly making its way down from the nose, until, quick as a lizard catching a bug, ZAP! out flicks the tongue.

Seriously - some of you guys look like you're doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation of that scene in Total Recall where he has to pull an almost golf-ball-sized tracking device out of his head through his nose.

Same goes with changing the roll of toilet paper. Or not drinking out of the bag of milk. Or changing the bag of milk when it's empty.

It's the same with people and facebook or twitter. They can be so in the habit of doing it that they just don't make the connection to how it's inappropriate during a trial, even when told.

If you still believe "force of habit" is just an expression, look at how many smokers have on occasion lit up a second smoke while they still have one going ... under a no-smoking sign .... in a hospital ... when they're there for a smolking-related illness!

Jurors not only need to be told - they need to, as a precaution, be pro-active by disabling their own accounts. It's better than having to bring clean underwear because the judge has you hauled in outside the presence of the other jurors for a "talking to".

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822437)

Easy solution - ban all idiots. Not from juries, from planet Earth. Solves the jury problem and the world overpopulation problem in one go. The Soylent Green could help with the terraforming of Mars.

Self-restraint and following the rules (5, Insightful)

CorporalKlinger (871715) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821285)

You're telling me. I was on a jury once for a month. The court staff and judge were all super nice as long as we followed the rules and held up our end, but it's tiring and time consuming under the best of situations. You spend 4 days a week going back and forth between trial and hanging out in a room with a group of people you have only one thing in common with. And that one thing you have in common you're not allowed to talk about until deliberations.

It wasn't really that miserable, but I can definitely understand why people would be on FB there if they're on FB normally.

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.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (3, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822075)

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

Imagine the frustration of there being NO parking spaces except the empty handicapped spots, and the handicapped spots are empty because the Uni has given handicapped people privately reserved spaces carved out of nearby normal spaces.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823613)

They you haven't seen every spot taken for more than half a mile like I have.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821657)

In that situation, I always talk about sex. After all, everyone likes sex, so we have that in common.

You've never met my ex ;) (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821889)

After all, everyone likes sex, so we have that in common.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822229)

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.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822877)

You're telling me. I was on a jury once for a month. The court staff and judge were all super nice as long as we followed the rules and held up our end, but it's tiring and time consuming under the best of situations. You spend 4 days a week going back and forth between trial and hanging out in a room with a group of people you have only one thing in common with. And that one thing you have in common you're not allowed to talk about until deliberations.

You are right, its not that bad, other than the money you are out by missing work. I've never served more than a week, so it might be way worse for those three month "show trials".

Best thing to do is bring a book, or an ipod, because you will have plenty of time to use either. There always ends up being a lot of waiting around.
First order of business if selected, is get on the good side of the Bailiff. Its not his fault you are there. A friendly bailiff (and most of them are) will make your stay in the juror jail a lot more comfortable.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821471)

Yep. I don't know how many times I've heard people say things like, "Remember, if you go to trial, your case will be heard by twelve people too stupid to get out of jury duty," without even considering how stupid that makes them sound.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822917)

The implication is that you're stupid if you're honest. Actually those people who are willing to lie to get out of jury service are exactly those people I don't want on the jury anyway, so that's not so bad.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823299)

For better or worse you don't need to lie to get out of jury duty. You just need to convince either party that leaving you on the jury is too risky, and thus be removed by peremptory strike. Intelligence alone can be a reason for being dismissed. Otherwise things like mannerisms or word choice may cause you be removed without ever once lying.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822985)

I showed up for Jury duty in Michigan as I am required every day at 9AM for a week. Every day the lawyers would visually inspect us and relieve the ones they did not want. Everyone that brought a book was dismissed. Those that were smart enough to figure out that "reading" will get you dismissed started bringing in books about mid week. It was really the same people over and over again on every jury, those not bright enough to correlate some very basic information.

Sadly, in our legal methods of jury stacking, that's exactly what each side wants.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821489)

I'd want a jury that didn't hate being there. The experience sounds unpleasant enough already that I would never sit on a jury. Judges already think they're royalty. Who the F do they think they are to tell me what I can or can't do outside their courtroom?

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (3, Informative)

BenLeeImp (1347831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821617)

They probably think they are Judges, and are telling you how the court works.

fuck the judges and their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821859)

"They probably think they are Judges, and are telling you how the court works."

Judges in the US quit representing the rights of people a LONG time ago.

All they do is screw you if you aren't rich or powerful, and let you slide if you are.

The only people who still respect the system in the US are naive fools who have
no idea how quickly the system will turn on them if it suits the needs of those in power.

Re:fuck the judges and their rules (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822761)

Judges in the US quit representing the rights of people a LONG time ago.

All they do is screw you if you aren't rich or powerful, and let you slide if you are.

The only people who still respect the system in the US are naive fools who have
no idea how quickly the system will turn on them if it suits the needs of those in power.

Judges were never supposed to represent the rights of people. Nor the rights of the state.
They are there to be impartial and enforce the rules of the court to assure the fairest possible trial.

You sound like someone who has had his bail revoked once too many times.

Re:fuck the judges and their rules (3, Informative)

BenLeeImp (1347831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822773)

While I understand your cynicism, I believe it to be a bit misplaced in this instance. These rules are to protect the rights of the people. Specifically, the defendant.

Also, I don't believe the situation to be quite so hopeless as you put forth. When I last served on a jury, I was picked to be the "extra guy" (unsure of the proper term), so I didn't get to join in deliberations. Instead, the judge called me into his chambers. I felt this was a bit odd, but he just wanted to talk about my jury duty experience, and any way they could try and make it better for the jurors. He (and I suspect most other court staff) was well aware of the generally negative perception of Jury duty, and wanted to try and help fix that. That concern was genuine, and not required of him in any capacity.

I have never spoken to another judge in the same manner, so I have but one data point to give, but its a very promising and hopeful data point. I think it has a little smiley face on it, actually.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821869)

I'm glad someone said it. If you are a juror and the judge has told you not to do something, you are required by law not to do it. Nearly EVERY SINGLE LAW was put in place by a judge to tell you what you can or cannot do outside of their courtroom. The laws are there for a reason. That judge is trying to keep you from creating a prejudice that would be unfair to either the defense or prosecution.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822377)

I'm glad someone said it. If you are a juror and the judge has told you not to do something, you are required by law not to do it. Nearly EVERY SINGLE LAW was put in place by a judge to tell you what you can or cannot do outside of their courtroom. The laws are there for a reason. That judge is trying to keep you from creating a prejudice that would be unfair to either the defense or prosecution.

Just pointing this out. It's unfair to the defense or prosecution, not necessarily the defendant or plaintiff. This is what's wrong with our court system, it has nothing to do with who's innocent, guilty, or otherwise, and everything to do with who puts on better show. Fuck the Judge, fuck the lawyers and fuck this BS.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822641)

I'm sorry but I don't need some Big Brother to shield me from the outside world. I'm more than capable of making an objective analysis of the situation. If you don't trust my judgement, then you shouldn't have me on a jury. You wonder why nobody wants to be on a jury, its because of the shit treatment we get during the whole process.

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822843)

So much for your "objective analysis".

Re:Self-restraint and following the rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822093)

When you're sitting on trial and the media has already convicted you, I'm sure you'll appreciate it if the jury isn't sitting there reading tweets from their friends (who haven't seen any of the evidence or heard the arguments) about how guilty you are.

Yes, it's an unpleasant and thankless job. But somebody has to do it. And it's the judge's job to set down rules to prevent some of the things that can interfere with them doing that job.

Cluelessness is limitless. (2, Insightful)

NoahsMyBro (569357) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cluelessness is limitless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822519)

maybe it would be better to start with 50 jurors, not specify any of these rules, and just dump the people who go about using facebook/twitter as having been too stupid/irresponsible to sit on a jury in the first place.

If, as you say, you shouldn't have to tell people, you should probably question whether you really want the sorts of people who have to be told to be there at all.

This is a non-story (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Same rules as always (1)

mindcandy (1252124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821247)

The first instruction of the jury is always "do not research or discuss the case outside the courtroom". 40 years ago this meant not to watch the evening news or read the morning paper .. now it means not to read wikipedia or tweet about it.

I suppose the real difference here is it's a lot easier for the defense to find out about later and win an appeal ("your honor, Juror #6 tweeted X about Y during the trial") whereas 40 years ago you could just say "I made my wife get the paper".

Re:Same rules as always (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821501)

That becomes harder with facebook though. If you're on a jury, but not sequestered, and go to a party and people start talking about the case you're on, are you prejudicing yourself? On facebook that's sort of the same problem, I don't control what my friends choose to post, but it's still there in front of me, whether I want it or not. You could bar people from all social media, but with facebook that's a bit like saying 'don't answer the telephone' - a lot of peoples lives are connected via facebook messages rather than e-mail or the like.

But I agree, it's sort of obvious that this is a natural extension of the existing rules. There are just some subtleties to be worked out still.

Re:Same rules as always (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822107)

with facebook that's a bit like saying 'don't answer the telephone' - a lot of peoples lives are connected via facebook messages rather than e-mail or the like.

oh, boo-hoo.... dunno, I personally find the idea that such tools would sit jury over the fate of another human being fucking disgusting, anyway.

Re:Same rules as always (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822497)

In this day and age, where information is so pervasive and connectedness is so absolute, maybe there should be no such thing as a non-sequestered jury any more.

Re:Same rules as always (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822947)

Well, taking a break from Facebook and all social media is probably good for them anyway. If there's something important to be communicated then it won't be sent via Facebook.

Re:Same rules as always (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821815)

now it means not to read wikipedia

I know wikipedia is broad, but if the trial in question has it's own wikipedia page, then it's probably interesting enough for me to want to be on the jury.

I've been called twice, and served once. When I served, it was as the 2nd of 2 alternates on a personal injury case (rear-ended on the freeway). It was a boring case of she said-she said, and it took the jury all of 10 minutes to come back with a ruling of no-fault/no-damages (the plaintiff was the one who rear-ended the defendant). The case was boring, and it sucked having to sit through all of it and not getting to at least be part of the deliberations, but it was very interesting to observe the operations of the court. I guess I'm kind of a law geek.

The second time was a murder case with hate-crime attachment, and I missed selection by a wide margin. It happened the week before Yom Kippur, so a lot of the Jewish people were trying to get out of it for that reason. The Judge finally said, "Anyone can be excused for religious cause, but you have to go back downstairs and get re-assigned to a different week." Some people who had sufficiently high numbers* rolled the dice and ended up not getting selected.

*We were number 1-50, with 1-12 starting in the box. Throughout voir-dire some would get excused and the next would take their place. I was in the low 40s, and didn't come close to getting picked.

www.1fikrimvar.com (-1, Offtopic)

www1fikrimvarcom (2560907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821341)

Teekkürler emeinize salk. Çok güzel bilgi paylam var. Sizleri takdir ediyorum. El emei ile ilgili içerikler ile sitenizi güçlendirme ihtimaliniz var. el emei [1fikrimvar.com] , kadn salk magazin kategorilerinde bilgi almak isterseniz sitemizi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

so.... (3, Funny)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821391)

google+ has an impact on something? this is news!

Already happned in England (4, Informative)

augustw (785088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821439)

In England, a juror was jailed last year for communicating with an acquitted defendant on Facebook: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/16/facebook-juror-jailed-for-eight-months [guardian.co.uk]

And another was jailed last week for researching the defendant on the internet generally: http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jan/23/juror-contempt-court-online-research [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Already happned in England (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821823)

You can't have contact after the trial? Seems a bit much.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

augustw (785088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822489)

The trial of other people accused of the same crime was still ongoing, on which she was a juror, which is why it was contempt for contacting the acquitted party.
  .
Although it's also illegal, in the UK, to discuss anything about the jury deliberations after the trial.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821885)

In England, a juror was jailed last year for communicating with an acquitted defendant on Facebook: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/16/facebook-juror-jailed-for-eight-months [guardian.co.uk]

one question:

Knox, Sewart's 35-year-old partner, is applying for his conviction to be overturned on the basis of alleged jury misconduct. He was jailed for six years after being found guilty of paying a police officer to disclose information on drug dealers.

It's illegal to buy information in Britain?

Re:Already happned in England (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822017)

It's legal to bribe policemen in America?

Re:Already happned in England (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822343)

Good question. Dunno. BRB!

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822395)

Yes, you regularly see them after hours working security at bars etc. in uniform!

In Europe they would be put away for such gross corruption.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822593)

Unless, of course, it's legal in that jurisdiction to wear their uniform while off-duty, or if the bar has made an arrangement to have police coverage at that particular location (generally with the caveat that the officer might be called away for something more important than watching a bunch of drunks) and it's not really after hours for them.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822699)

Which would still be 'buying the law'.

A police officer thus getting some extra money can no longer be considered impartial towards those who pay.

Re:Already happned in England (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822357)

It pretty much depends on what the information is? Is it a trade secret, highly classified information?

Re:Already happned in England (1)

augustw (785088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822553)

In the UK it's flat-out illegal to pay police officers for anything related to their being police officers, be that information, favours, or whatever.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822941)

so that would mean that in theory, giving a police officer a Free Coffee or sandwich?

Re:Already happned in England (1)

augustw (785088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823011)

Only if it was with intent to obtain something in return. If it was truly gratuitous, and of trifling value, then it would be OK.

Anyway, it's not just cops,pretty much the same prohibition on bribery applies to almost everyone now, thanks to the Bribery Act 2010 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/contents).

Re:Already happned in England (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822539)

If the information is (a) personal and (b) on a computer, then it falls foul of the Data Protection Act. (b) may or may not still be required, there was talk of the DPA applying to all personal information regardless of the medium but I never followed up on the story.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822459)

For someone from a country with a professional legal system all these stories about a bunch of amateurs 'applying' the law are hair raising.

How the hell are things not skewed when the jurors are told (to pretend) to live in an era two centuries ago yet the presiding judge can take part in any discussion or read any paper he wishes?

Re:Already happned in England (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822757)

For someone from a country with a professional legal system all these stories about a bunch of amateurs 'applying' the law are hair raising.

Juries don't apply the law. They find the facts. Judges determine the applicable law, and apply the law to the factual issues in dispute in the case to decide the fact questions to put to the jury.

How the hell are things not skewed when the jurors are told (to pretend) to live in an era two centuries ago

Juries aren't told to pretend to live in an era two centuries ago. The restrictions on jurors were just as restrictive compared to daily life two centuries ago. The means available for unauthorized information were different, but nevertheless omnipresent, even then.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822961)

Ars had an article [arstechnica.com] about the most recent case, and seems to come to the conclusion that it's stupid to have rules that can't be enforced except by the people who are subject to them, and points out the dichotomy between jurors being required to draw on their life experience without being allowed to do things such as looking up terms they may not understand. Do we want knowledgeable juries, or do we not? (Who lawyers want on juries is another question altogether.)

Anyway, my takeaway was to do as you please, but to keep your mouth shut about it. You can't introduce outside evidence, but you can emphasize points that lawyers may have made that best fit with the law and the facts as you see them. That's the role of the jury after all, and I don't begrudge anyone who takes that role seriously enough to do their own research, whether I agree with their conclusions or not.

Re:Already happned in England (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823459)

Looking up terms on your own can cause an understanding of them which is not the same as what they mean within the context of a specific case. That's why jurors who have a question about the definition of a term they don't understand as used in court are required to ask the judge for the appropriate definition. I don't disagree that looking for outside context could be beneficial, but it can also be incredibly damaging.

The English language can be incredibly ambiguous, and the definition one decides on after looking it up could result in a far different perception from the definition that actually applies to the case.

What about threats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821517)

It's not hard for me to imagine a defendant having a 3rd party make a post on a juror's Facebook page. Maybe just a veiled threat that only the juror would recognize. It's not just outside information (unvetted) - criminals could use it to influence the outcome of a trial. It will happen, if it hasn't already.

Online bullying the jury anyone?

Re:What about threats? (1)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821699)

It's hard for me to imagine that, mostly because criminals aren't as stupid as you seem to think they are. Why on earth would anyone committing the crimes of (off the top of my head) jury tampering, intimidation and obstruction of justice do so in a medium that is both public and preserved for posterity by the web server? Even if it's a veiled threat, that's treading on pretty freakin' thin ice.

Re:What about threats? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822197)

Why on earth would anyone committing the crimes of (off the top of my head) jury tampering, intimidation and obstruction of justice do so in a medium that is both public and preserved for posterity by the web server?

Because the other people using the social media site aren't necessarily committing a crime when they mention "I heard on the news that the judge ruled that the 18 previous convictions this guy has can't be presented in evidence" or "32 people have come forward claiming this guy raped them, too" or things like that.

There are rules about what can and can't be evidence, none of which the users of social media are bound by but a juror is. Since jurors aren't supposed to be using social media, it would be a hard case to make that someone who posted excluded information was actually trying to tamper with the jury, but the end result would be the same.

Re:What about threats? (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821817)

Then you report it, immediately. No different than a phone call at home, or a 'visit' by some friendly guy on a Saturday afternoon.

Report it, and let the judge/prosecution/defense work it out.

Re:What about threats? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823253)

It's not hard for me to imagine a defendant having a 3rd party make a post on a juror's Facebook page. Maybe just a veiled threat that only the juror would recognize. It's not just outside information (unvetted) - criminals could use it to influence the outcome of a trial. It will happen, if it hasn't already.

Online bullying the jury anyone?

Simple: Don't read your facebook page for the duration. A threat not viewed is not going to influence you.

Please tell me you aren't THAT addicted that you can't communicate via email or (shudder) phone calls with those people you need to keep in DAILY touch with for the week or so you might serve on a jury. There is life on earth without Facebook.

Two problems (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821865)

1. The use of mobile technology may be very important towards educating jurors during their jury duty. It may be important for them to research case law and to educate themselves about various aspects of the case.

2. If their opinions can be so easily swayed by FB/Twitter, I don't want them being jurors, ever.

Re:Two problems (1)

NoahsMyBro (569357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821933)

As to #1, Jurors should not be researching case law and self-educating during the case. The attorneys and judge are responsible for properly vetting the jurors during the selection process (voire dire), and then during the case properly instructing the jurors as necessary. Jurors aren't expected to be law students, and I find the thought of a juror that cruises the internet to teach him/herself the law during a case unsettling.

As for #2, In my own elitist, stuck-up opinion I don't want most people to be jurors. Unfortunately our system isn't predicated on "a jury of our peers, but only those whose wisdom, intelligence, and judgement we respect".

Re:Two problems (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822221)

Unfortunately our system isn't predicated on "a jury of our peers, but only those whose wisdom, intelligence, and judgement we respect".

but of course it is. I just have to think of george carlin's tips on how to get out of jury duty.. "tell the judge you can spot a criminal *snaps fingers* just like that, he'll be impressed; tell him it's in the distance between the eyes".

or any other such extreme example we could make up. if it's stupid and insane enough, and in a way differently enough from the establishment, no jury duty for you. there goes your precious argument and passive-aggressive fart of an attack.

it's not like it can't be objectively shown that depending on facebook is fucking stupid and basically amounts to walking around in traffic (you're using the internet, but you don't really know what it is and that it amounts to more than icons on your retina). just not to people who are just as stupid.

also, it's only the system of those who accept it, just like the british king was no longer the american king when they thought "nah, that was fun but let's try something different now". but once people did that, they forget. until it happens again, to them this time.

cheers.

Re:Two problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822011)

1 Is exactly the opposite of what is legal procedure. A jury is supposed to be idiots when it comes to case law and about various aspects of the case. Why? Because lawyers want to tell you these things and ensure that you don't know something already and have interpreted it in the wrong way, because you're not exactly talking back to them about what you know any time after jury selection. For example, if you know about how DNA evidence processing is done, but fail to share that during selection, and then during deliberation you point out XYZ about DNA and that causes other jurors to vote a certain way, but in reality you were wrong about XYZ, you may have just sent an innocent person to jail or freed a murderer. You in a way introduced evidence without any of the sides getting to refute it.

2 Is it that hard to see where they may say something about the case, a friend chimes in with XYZ about DNA, and then they report it on back to other jurors as fact?

Re:Two problems (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822733)

Where do you draw the line? Almost every jury candidate has seen CSI or one of these moronic crime/police TV shows that are horrendously wrong in almost every way. Why would it be a bad thing to let them actually google something to get more information? You argue that a perfect jury is completely ignorant, but then that's just a jury capable of (and willing to be) brainwashed by the lawyers rather than deciding based on the evidence presented whether or not the defendant is guilty. I, for one, do not want anyone's fate being decided by a bunch of half-wits regurgitating "facts" given to them by lawyers during the case. It doesn't help the fact that the majority of lawyers I've met or talked to have been incredibly stupid.

Is it OK when we decide the fate of a person based on incorrect information and emotional sentiment provided by lawyers but not when we research things ourselves and decide independent of their obviously (by definition) biased views and willingness to hide details? So it's fine to kill someone because someone else says it's OK?

Re:Two problems (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823087)

If I were on trial, and the prosecution presented evidence against me, I would like the opportunity to refute that evidence. Some idiot searching on the web for the 'real' evidence does not give me the opportunity to do that.

If I were prosecuting a case, I want any challenge to the science the lab uses to come from the defense, so I can refute it. Some idiot searching on the web for the 'real answers' does not give me the opportunity to do that.

If I were on trial, and the police had improperly obtained evidence, I would want that evidence excluded from the trial (fourth amendment and all that). Some idiot searching on the web for the 'real' evidence can find that improper evidence.

If I were prosecuting a case, I want any challenge to the law to come from the defense, so I can rebut it. Some idiot searching the web for the 'real' law does not give me the chance to do that.

And here is the best part of your incredibly stupid argument: you refer to the jurors as 'half wits' who are 'easily brainwashed', yet you expect them to do independent research and be able to sort out the bullshit from the truth on webpages dealing with subjects they know nothing about. Brilliant.

Notify juries of their rights of NULLIFICATION (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822087)

The most important right that a jury member has is the right to judge the law, and apparently it is very dangerous in USA to notify juries of their right to do so and judges are on the side of the government on this, so they actually place people to jail who notify juries of this, even though this is an extremely important power that common people have to fight unjust laws - just always find the defendant not-guilty because the law is unjust.

One of the cases of this is discussed in this interview [noxsolutions.com] (the interview starts at the minute 41).

Interview is with Bernard von NotHaus, founder of NORFED & the Liberty Dollar, on exhausting his appeals process and his forthcoming prison sentencing.

This is the information on how you can help show your support by writing the Judge in Bernard's case! [schiffradio.com]

Of-course do not forget that there are other political prisoners in USA, Irwin Schiff is one of them, this is an interview with Irwin Schiff from 2004 [youtube.com] , where he talks about his books where he predicts the economic collapse, education collapse, housing crisis, debt crisis, eventual collapse of the dollar, destruction of the manufacturing base in USA. Irwin Schiff also talks about the reasons for the incoming problems and he is giving an interesting look at the history of US over the past 100 years and how economy was changing. Also throughout the interview (really, it has to be viewed fully to see all of the points), Irwin Schiff shows that the income taxes in USA are voluntary and are collected illegally. Of-course he is spending 12 years in prison [wikipedia.org] even though all of the evidence shows that he should not have been convicted, but the judge in the appeal case is refusing to look at the evidence. [paynoincometax.com]

So my point with all this is that AFAIC it is a good thing for the jury to be able to get some information that they don't have, because too often it looks like they are selected specifically in a way that would prevent anybody with any knowledge of the problems with the system from being in jury.

Jury nullification needs to be taught in school on day one, and of-course in the government ran schools it's not.

By the way, now with the NDAA signed by Obama, Bernard von NotHaus can in principle be 'disappeared' by the military and held indefinitely in a military prison because he was deemed a 'terrorist' for selling silver 10-20 Liberty dollar coins (of-course there are no silver 10-20 dollar USD that are used, these cannot be confused with actual USD and anybody who owns Liberty dollars is making a profit in terms of USD, which is being destroyed.) So do we need jury that are knowledgeable of what the system is like today or not?

Nullification - this is what all juries must be told. Nullify all laws that government is using to convict people whenever it concerns individual rights, property rights, etc. Government is the evil today, nothing else, nullify all laws.

Re:Notify juries of their rights of NULLIFICATION (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823389)

Except in very unusual cases jury nullification is going about things the wrong way.

Let's say there is a law against driving a car on Sundays in Indiana. OK, it is a stupid law, but it is only in Indiana after all. First case comes to trial and everyone is saying what a stupid law it is - but the case results in a conviction. After that it seems that about 60% of the time the jury just decides it is too stupid a law and refuses - against instructions - to convict.

What we have instead of getting the law repealed is 40% of the time the law is still enforced and results in a conviction. Maybe the penalty is a $10 fine but that is irrelevent. The point is that what is needed is repeal of laws, not juries independently and inconsistently ignoring them. It might have this effect if 100% of the time the jury refused to convict in spite of obvious and clear evidence to the contrary. But this is the US and nothing is ever 100%.

History repeating itself... (1)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822187)

1848: Federal judges wary of mail impact on juries
1898: Federal judges wary of telephone impact on juries
1918: Federal judges wary of radio impact on juries
1948: Federal judges wary of television impact on juries
1978: Federal judges wary of satellite impact on juries
1988: Federal judges wary of email impact on juries
1998: Federal judges wary of instant messaging impact on juries

Let's just go with this:
Federal judges wary of communication impact on juries

Re:History repeating itself... (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823049)

federal Judges seem to have a problem with the media in general as witnessed by their Restictions on coverage of a Local Political corruption trial. One local televison station to do reenactments of the proceedings using puppets.

Judges are scum of this fucking planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822779)

n/t

Uh-Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823015)

I don't use Twitter or Facebook, and I don't watch television...

I might end up being the Last Juror.

Pacification (1)

bugger41 (2557910) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823589)

This is a clear-cut case of pacification them trying to divide us Thinking that it would matter to you. ahw we promise to leave your Facebook alone they're just blowing smoke up your ass . it's all or nothing please understand that the bank cartels conglomerates Human rights thieves. Whatever you want to call them . Mean to control the entire world and their Being damn blatant about it lately if you don't draw a line in the sand they'll just keep taking. They don't understand anything but more and more more. Don't get suckered in and stay away from fluoride. And aspartame and everything else they are polluting our food with. infowars.com .check this out you might find it interesting. Alex isn't talking about sopa & pipa too much right now but when all that crap popped off he was all over it. Understand they're not done pushing and if it's not this it will be something else later and probably a lot more subtle .keep your eyes open don't let your liberties slip from your grasp. listen with your eyes and your good sense at this point use our good constitution as your guide .our forefathers had it right but don't let anybody tell you otherwise and for those folks that are in Canada don't let them cram their draconian ideals down your neck .if that old broads hand still reaches far enough to carry any weight in your legal system you need to cut it off."A" you might want to tell Hollywood to stick it in there ass. Canada needs to boycott them if they didn't want people to steal their ideas They shouldn't have published it on the Internet. Sacrificing the rights of the masses in the name of the few is absolutely insane not to mention you can't possibly feel sorry for them when the Internet is just another stream of income for them when they do a movie they get paid one way or the other because they've got insurance in case the damn movie flops so everybody makes out don't let them lie to you yes it's a high-risk venture and their insurance is high but when you make $30 million for a movie you spent $5 million on as this is being generous to Hollywood because they make a great deal more than that most of the time and if they're going to cry about it maybe they ought to re-think the way they do business. if it wasn't for Joe blow Hollywood wouldn't exist all are wile sitting around in their multimillion dollar mansions and their billion-dollar market shares are flowing in let them understand that the Internet Is Hours and there's but if they want to keep sharing it with us. Let them like what we dish out. Their banker buddies Won't let them starve . that is unless they think their not having an effect on us anymore. Remember that Hollywood is owned lock stock and barrel by none other than the people that would throw you in a prison camp and work you tell you starved to death. and until Hollywood figures out how to rid themselves of these people they can always plan on having a pimp standing over them telling them what to do like the prostitutes they are. www.infowars.com "winamp" /Alex Jones . Opt for the free side when you download win amp. And there's a bonus for downloading "winamp" all the free music Your sweet ears can handle I plan to subscribe to winamp very soon. and do yourself a favor and stay away from mainstream media there is very little truth in it unless it's absolutely unavoidable to them another entity that the World Bank's have a stranglehold on if they've got Congress by the short hairs what makes you think they don't control our legal system. They own nations and they're getting damn close to gaining total control over ours. by the way if you have a listen to my recommendations You may not give a damn about mainstream media including Hollywood ever again. If you're not dead from the neck up.
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