CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Judge Prohibits Blackberry Use by Jurors

There will be no Twittering in the courtroom.

As jury selection in the blockbuster trial of famed philanthropist Brooke Astor's son opened Monday, a Manhattan judge told 200 potential jurors to put away their BlackBerrys.

"I understand there is a temptation to review [news] stories," Supreme Court Justice Kirke Bartley said as he ordered panel members to stay away from their computers. "You are not to conduct research...particularly on the Internet."

"Blogging, BlackBerrys, whatever," are prohibited, he said in the nearly 10-minute lecture.

 "There have been reports from all over about jurors Twittering and blogging," said Ken Warner, a lawyer for Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, who is charged with looting his mother's fortune.

Warner was referring to the popular instant social-networking Web site Twitter. With easy access to the Internet, jurors around the country are increasingly turning to the medium to satisfy their curiosity about a case they are sitting on - and that is resulting in costly mistrials.

Read full article here. [Brooks Holland]

Technology, Trials, Web/Tech | Permalink

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