Is Twitter Compromising our Legal System?

I recently started following Kara Smith on Twitter and reading her blog, Karasma Media.  I came across one of her posts this past week about how Twitter is effecting our legal system.  In her post, Kara talks about how jurors are starting to tweet and sending updates about trials as the trials are still in session.  That court case was considered a mistrial.  She also talks about how a juror “Google Searched” a defendant during a trial.  With all of this new technology and social media, secrets that once were kept hidden can now be found within a matter of seconds.  Do you think that something needs to be done about social media in relation to our legal system?


6 thoughts on “Is Twitter Compromising our Legal System?

  1. Pingback: Is Twitter Compromising our Legal System? « Twitter @ Information-Source-Online.Com

  2. What an interesting post! I had never thought about the implications social media could have on things such as our legal system. It’s amazing to think that jurors wouldn’t consider tweeting about a case as a breach of confidentiality, but then again how often do we find ourselves on twitter talking about our other personal daily activities? Along with hailing SM as a beacon for progress, we should also acknowledge the many slipper slopes it brings with it…perfect example with the jurors.

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  4. Thanks for your comment Leslie! Maybe they will have to start confiscating juror’s cell phones or making them sign contracts.

  5. Compromising – your word. No. A resounding NO. I’m a courtroom litigator in FL, and our office has presented 4 jury trials in the last 9 months. I see criminal cases being tried every day.

    If you ASKED potential jurors what twitter was, much less who used it you would get what I got in the last two – what is that? could you explain it?

    If you presume that the 9 million twitter users are true (some say there are 2 million regular users) compare that to what we have heard to be nearly 10 million juror days of service in FL each year. That’s 1 state. Presume say 200 million juror days per year in State and Federal court and at best 1 percent of users of twitter get to any kind of jury.

    My bet – less than 1 in 100,000 real live seated jurors have a twitter account.

    So compromise? Nah. Effect? Nope. Right now Twitter is a blip on the blip on a radar screen.

    BTW in some courts the bailiff tells juror to keep cellphones off, or in the car, OR risk having them taken away. I have not yet — not yet – heard a cell phone go off in a juror’s pocket or bag.

    Now, on tech and Google searches of the parties – sure it happens. That will never change no matter how many times the judge tells jurors not to do so.

    • Miller,
      Thanks for your comment and insight. I personally think that Twitter is becoming a phenomenon that is becoming more and more popular by the second. I bet the two people that you asked about Twitter will soon find out what Twitter is if they watch the news or follow any organization closely. I am a college senior. I am not a lawyer. I am not regularly in a court room, so I’m not immersed in the legal scene as much as you seem to be. I simply posed the question. Thanks for your answer!!

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