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Want Out of Jury Duty? Facebook Posts May Work

By Jason Beahm | Last updated on

Facebook keeps popping up in unexpected places. The most recent: jury selection. Thanks to Facebook, jury duty just got more personal.

Something as simple as liking the show CSI on Facebook could tell lawyers that a prospective juror may have "unrealistic expectations that DNA evidence could be obtained from every crime scene," the Wall Street Journal reports. Facebook can also be useful to learn things like a potential juror's religion, political beliefs, hobbies and tastes.

It seems that Facebook is increasingly being used in courts to decide who attorneys want to serve on a jury. We have also recently discussed the problem with jurors getting into trouble for using Twitter and Facebook to post trial-related information.

But not everyone believes the practice of digging up information on social media sites is appropriate, including some in the legal community. They contend that the traditional jury-selection process is more appropriate and reliable than conducting a Facebook jury selection.

"I don't think we should abandon that system in favor of Internet snooping ... There are a number people who post who they want to be, as opposed to who they are," Jason Schultz, co-director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Wall Street Journal.

If you find jury duty, Facebook and jury selection interesting, the WSJ article is definitely worth a read. Here are a few of the details that lawyers and jury consultants said they found most useful:

  • What TV or radio shows you like. They could reveal aspects of your personality, as well as influence your expectations.
  • Rants. If you like to rant, you might try to dominate the jury.
  • Tweet levels. If you post a lot, you might post information about the trial. You also might be a ranter.
  • Friends. Who your friends are can reveal to some extent, who you are and what you are likely to agree with.

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