Ken Strutin, director of legal information services at the New York State Defenders Association. writes:
Most people called to serve on grand or petit juries regularly use the internet to transact business, conduct research and carry out daily activities. And social media have become lifelines to networking with friends, families and co-workers. Unfortunately, a growing number of potential jurors have fallen prey to the lure of Tweeting or doing a Google search about the cases before them. This wrinkle in due process has challenged the courts and counsel to find new ways of uncovering online misconduct and preventing it in the future.
Read more from his New York Law Journal article on Law Technology News. Strutin really provides a nice description of the complexity of some of the issues involved in ensuring a fair trial while not infringing on juror’s rights. He also includes references to a number of specific cases in the courts, including the “Facebook Juror” case in California that has made headlines after a judge ordered Arturo Ramirez, now known as “Juror Number One” in court filings (or the “Facebook Juror” in the blogosphere) to consent to Facebook releasing his non-public messages to the court.