Ryan Holeywell is a staff writer at GOVERNING.E-mail: email@example.com
Prosecutors in the Cameron County, Texas, District Attorney's Office will start examining potential jurors' Facebook profiles during the selection process to get a better picture of the people who may be deciding the outcome of trials. Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos said county courtrooms are now equipped with Wi-Fi, and prosecutors can use iPads to access jurors' Facebook profiles, according to an article in the Brownsville Herald. Prosecutors and defense attorneys previously only had access to basic information about potential jurors, such as their religion, employer and whether they had any children. In the past, prosecutors have also used smartphones to conduct Google searches on potential jurors in the courtroom, but Villalobos expects Facebook to have more candid information, according to the newspaper. Prosecutors won't be able to see the pages of people who have set their privacy setting to block outside visitors, and Facebook information won't be permanently stored in city records, Villalobos said.