The First Rule Of Being A Juror For Barry Bonds' Perjury Case Is You Don't Talk About Being A Juror For Barry Bonds' Perjury Case

from the jurors-club dept

Jeff sends over the news that Barry Bonds' lawyer is asking the court to tell jurors involved in Bonds' perjury case, that they should not use communications technology to mention the case to anyone, and that the following instructions should be read to the jury before the case begins and at the end of each day:
"you must not communicate with anyone about the case by any other means, direct or indirect, such as: a writing, the telephone, e-mail, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, instant messaging, Blackberry messaging, I-Phones, I-Touches, Google, Yahoo, any internet search engine or any other form of electronic communication for any purpose whatsoever."
This is not quite as bad as the headline at the linked article suggests, where they claim that Bonds' lawyers want jurors to stay off the internet. It appears they're free to use the internet, so long as they don't mention the case. Of course, you're already limited in what you can talk about concerning any case you're on, so it's not clear that this request is really all that extreme. However, it is interesting to see how lawyers are becoming increasingly more specific about how they want jurors to be instructed when it comes to using communications technologies during the course of a case.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    As they begin to hire technocrats to help them, politicians will also eventually become more technically specific about technology related laws as well. After all, you wouldn't want someone stealing your intellectual property address now, would you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    TechnoMage (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    Correction?

    Mike, Think you meant "off" in: "where they claim that Bonds' lawyers want jurors to stay _of_ the internet"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 11:16pm

    Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    Since when does some judge get to violate jurors' freedom of speech? There are no exemptions for judges in the first amendment. Seems like some bunch of lawyers has developed a problem with other peoples' first amendment rights. Then they are hoping that if they just look threatening enough, they will be allowed to get away with taking away jurors' rights.

    Never forget, juries were introduced as a rebuke to judges who were following their orders. Judges are never going to forget that and neither should anybody else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Zac, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    Um, no jury is allowed to discuss the case they are trying. This is nothing new. It's simply more specific than "don't talk about the case."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    Face to face gets first amendment protections, but as soon as you use any technology, even a piece of paper, the first amendment goes away? Nope, wrong. Try again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Mar 3rd, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    usually jurors aren't allowed to discuss the case they're involved in outside of the court house (or whatever), to avoid various things that could unduly influence the outcome of the case.

    specifically bribery and blackmail, and propaganda... then there's newspapers...

    huh, it really doesn't work as well as it should, but the IDEA is that it's to help keep the trial fair, honest, and above board.

    as for the first amendment... well, i've got no clue about US law, but the usual gist is that these kind of things are until the trial ends, Then they're free to say what they like.

    i dunno... the US is weird.

    (my you, NZ's constitutional documents ... we had to pass a bill specifically listing what did and didn't count and it grabs bits from various treaties, UN resolutions, acts of parliament, and who knows what... no nice neat single document for us, no. similar Ideals to what backs the US constitution though... well, with a bit of an antipodean/imperial twist, anyway. )

    rambling... too damn hot today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 12:34am

    Re: Correction?

    Indeed. Fixed. Thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 2:39am

    The First Rule Of The Fight Club Cliché Is ...

    ... you never use the Fight Club cliché.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 3:53am

    uh yeah, jurors are never allowed to talk about the case they are involved in.

    BUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT!!!!

    tards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    Re:

    At least there's a semi-logical exception for jury-tampering, as that would normally come under 'perverting the course of justice'.

    Or, if you're American, Government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Karen, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Really?

    Seriously? This seems like much ado about nothing. Juries can't discuss the case they're on and have never been able to. Just because there are new communication tools now doesn't change that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 4th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    Its not that judges get to violate a juror's rights, its that a juror's free speech rights are going to overlap between a defendant's right to an impartial jury.

    Where there is overlap in the rights of one person over another, there is the possibility of conflict. Telling jurors not to discuss the case is not an overwhelming burden on their free speech rights for the generally short period of time while the case is ongoing. After the case is over, they are free to talk about their experience.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    hobo, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    Generally there is no talking about the case allowed until after the fact. While I understand the point that is still delaying freedom of speech rights, it is not as if they are going to be forced to deliberate for 40yrs.

    This seems a reasonable expectation. As soon as the case is over they can cut book deals, or they could if this case mattered at all/anyone cared.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: The First Rule Of The Fight Club Cliché Is ...

    I am Jack's complete lack of surprise that such a special snowflake would be the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world.

    Need some soap?

    /kidding ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Judges Are Hostile To Juries

    More specifically, to my understanding, they are not to discuss the case while it is ongoing as to do so would violate the accused right to a fair trial. Your rights end where mine begin, as the saying goes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This