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.

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Comments on “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”

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15 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Chargone (profile) says:

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.

hobo says:

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.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

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.

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