ABA gives OK to searching juror social media - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

ABA gives OK to searching juror social media

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HELENA - What you post to social media has become a sort of taboo in the workforce.

Now that the American Bar Association says lawyers can do social media searches on jurors, your social media tendencies could determine dismissal from the jury pool.

Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito says during the jury selection process, a juror's affiliations or bias revealed on a social media search can actually be helpful to both sides of the courtroom.

"If it was a case that involved a gun, I may like that juror, or engaged in conversation with that juror," Twito said. "Because the fact that they are a member of the NRA, it's likely that they have firearms and they may understand firearm terminology. Having a juror with a background of firearms may be a benefit or a detriment. It just depends on what they say during the jury selection process."

Your social media tendencies could dismiss you from the jury pool through a challenge of cause. That is, if lawyers find information online that prevents you from making a balanced decision.

Scouring social media sites is already practiced by investigators leading them to evidence or finding a person of interest. But all that really matters to lawyers is how jurors will respond in court.

Despite the ABA saying its OK to do these social media searches, jurors shouldn't be too worried because some firms say they don't even have the time to do so.