Friday, October 06, 2006

Blogging While on a Jury, No Big Deal

The New Hampshire Supreme Court refused to overturn a recent conviction on the grounds that a juror posted to a blog about a trial while on the jury.  According to the ABA Journal Report:

Indeed, prospective jurors and active jurors are already blogging about their past experiences, and at least on one occasion, directly from the courthouse during service.  At the center of the New Hampshire appeal is small-town blogger Scott Vachon of Laconia.  In the days before he was to report for jury duty, Vachon posted this on his blog: "Lucky me, I have jury duty!" and, "Now I get to listen to the local riffraff try and convince me of their innocence." Later, he also posted on the now-defunct blog that he was surprised that after two days of jury selection, he hadn’t been "booted due to any strong beliefs I had about police, God, etc." . . . Yet, because Vachon’s posts weren’t shared with his fellow jurors, and because Vachon assured the trial judge that he had followed his instructions once the jury was seated, the high court didn’t find any error.

The court did, however, leave reason to believe that if it could be shown that the jury saw the blog that it may be considered juror misconduct.  This leaves the door open for all sorts of crazy situations.  The law is defiantly not clear when it comes to this.  The ABA does not seem to take sides but it does quote some individuals that strongly question the courts decision to look at juror blogging on a case by case basis.

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