Want to Get Out of Jury Duty? Post Something 'Strident' to Facebook

By Alexis C. Madrigal

Lawyers have begun to use major social networking sites like Facebook to track down information about potential jurors. While some might see this as a perversion of the legal system's long-held principles about jury selection, I say you should use this to your advantage.

The Wall Street Journal reports that one potential juror got bounced because he had "strident opinions on a host of issues, and dispensed unsolicited medical and sex advice." First thought: if that's all it takes to get out of jury duty, who among us will be left to serve? Second thought: there'll be no more bowing and scraping before a judge hoping to squeeze out of duty. Simply post some strong opinions about the cops and push those privacy settings to exhibitionist.

Facebook is increasingly being used in courts to decide who is--and who isn't--suitable to serve on a jury, the latest way in which the social-networking site is altering the U.S. court system.

Prosecution and defense lawyers are scouring the site for personal details about members of the jury pool that could signal which side they might sympathize with during a trial. They consider what potential jurors watch on television, their interests and hobbies, and how religious they are.

Read the full story at theĀ Wall Street Journal.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/02/want-to-get-out-of-jury-duty-post-something-strident-to-facebook/71621/