Some judges are now banning Blackberrys and IPhones from juries. In the Brooke Astor trial in New York City, the judge warned jurors not to Twitter, blog, email, or do any internet research about the issues at hand.
With people publishing every more minute details of their lives on social media sites like Twitter, it’s no surprise that these sites are messing with the criminal justice system. There’s been a spate of recent cases in which jurors posted information about trials on Twitter — even while the trials were occurring, says Ken Strutin of the New York Law Journal.
For example, in a hearing on an Arkansas lawsuit by investors against the owners of a company that produced a new type of insulation foam, one of the jurors was found to have used Twitter to send messages about the case at various times. The defendants, facing a $12.6 million judgment, contested the juror’s fairness and impartiality. But the court denied their motion for a new trial. A similar situation happened in the corruption trial of former Pennsylvania state senator Vincent Fumo.