US Courts Using Facebook To Weed Out Jury

In what could signal a worrying trend, some US prosecution and defence lawyers have discovered that social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace may provide valuable clues about the personality of a particular Jury person. The legal eagles have admitted to the Wall Street Journal that they actively search through Jury members social networking profiles in the hope of finding those whom could be considered more (or less) sympathetic during a trial and therefore, potentially easier to manipulate.

Fortunately, most people’s Facebook accounts are locked and don’t tell you anything interesting without first being ‘friended’. However, that hasn’t stopped certain clever-dick lawyers and prosecutors from trying less obvious ways to procure the information they seek:

“Mr. Villalobos is considering a method to get behind the site's private wall to learn more. One option: granting members of the jury pool free access to the court's wi-fi network in exchange for temporarily "friending" his office.”

Let's just hope the trend doesn't make its way over to Australia.

[Via WSJ]

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