WA Potential Jurors Asked About Blogging On Violent Crime


In another example of the social media’s influence on the courts, potential jurors in a Kitsap County, Wa., murder case were asked last week, “Have you ever written a letter-to-the-editor or 'blog' about any story you may have read or heard about relating to violent crime?” Prosecutor Kevin Hull said the “blogging” question could help reveal whether potential jurors have pre-formed opinions about the case, the defendant, or violent crime in general, reports the Kitsap Sun. (None of 200 who received the jurors’ questionnaire had answered yes on blogging as of Thursday.)

The new social media technology has emerged rapidly and the law has lumbered along in response to it, said Eric Robinson of the Reynolds Center for the Courts and Media in Reno, Nv. Social media won't inherently have a positive or negative impact on the court's ability to administer a fair trial, Robinson said. He likens the changes to those that took place in courthouses when the telephone was invented – judges adjusted to having more information fanning out from their courtrooms more quickly and with greater opining. “I don't think it's necessarily good or bad for the courts,” he said. “They just have to deal with it.”

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