Lawyers Use Facebook to Pick Jurors

They vet candidates based on their likes and dislikes online
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 4:07 PM CST
In this courtroom drawing, Federal Defender Fiona Doherty, left, addresses the Court at federal court in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

(Newser) – Here's the latest way Facebook is changing life as we know it: Lawyers snooping for extra information on potential jurors have been looking them up on the site, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It's a waterfall of information, compared to the pinhole view you used to get," says one lawyer, who, while defending a priest on sex abuse charges, rooted around candidates' pages to get a sense of how devout they were.

The practice often works, because Facebook is "the place where people voice their opinions," says one jury consultant. In some cases, legal teams have used seemingly inconsequential information, such as a predilection for TV crime shows. People who love CSI, for example, might have sky-high expectations about DNA evidence. (Read more juror stories.)

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