Jury Selection Turns to Facebook, Blogs, Data

Experts mine online profiles for background on jurors' views
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 11:55 AM CDT
Clark County District Attorney David Roger appears in a courtroom during the second day of jury selection for O.J Simpson's trial at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Ethan Miller, Pool)
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(Newser) – Get called for jury duty these days, and you can expect attorneys to know a lot more about you than they let on. Trial consultants who used to specialize in legwork—visiting neighbors and friends to gather clues to potential jurors' views—are now expert Web surfers, tracing things like spending habits, campaign contributions, letters to the editor—not to speak of the personal info on your Facebook page, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"If a juror has an attitude about something, I want to know what that is," says one veteran jury researcher. Both sides can be counted on to be doing the research, says the head of a Dallas-based research firm: Anyone who neglects Internet searches "is bordering on malpractice."