Debate over Facebook and the justice system
Legal panel weigh in on the place of social media
- Duration 5:00
- Date Feb 6, 2013
Legal panel weigh in on the place of social media
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Right now could mean big changes for judges and attorneys when it comes to their use of social media.
A judge in Broward County where Fort Lauderdale is located.
Faces a motion to disqualify him from a case involving a prosecutor.
Who is also his FaceBook friend he refused to recuse himself from the case.
Now the defendant is arguing he'd never get a fair trial because the judge and prosecutor are Powell's.
This raises serious questions about social media and the justice system.
Let's talk about it with faith Jenkins a former prosecutor asked her panic she is a criminal defense attorney -- let's start with -- does this defendant have a case.
He gets in the Court of Appeals in fact -- the judge recuse himself in this case aren't disqualify himself.
It is common practice that judges and lawyers know each other.
So many times their friends their lawyers to contribute to judges ad campaigns in order to get elected they sit on their campaign committees.
But all of that is public and public record.
FaceBook is not and -- standard between lawyers and judges to shore that a defendant has a fair day in court.
Is to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
So you don't actually have to had.
Anything that went wrong or any close relationship between a judge or at lawyer take to actually be inappropriate it's -- appearance.
I've impropriety and that is what.
-- kids if you believe that.
The judge judging -- has an extra judicial friendship or any relationship with the lawyer who is prosecuting you know.
It doesn't seem fair and -- I had that led up.
Already have faith what about it does Seattle points.
John -- -- the bottom line -- reality of the situation as a former prosecutor defense attorneys we go to social evenings and functions with judges.
All the time sure -- golf -- all the time.
Absolutely all the time outside of court I -- FaceBook is about five steps removed from the actual one on one personal interactions.
We have with judges in social settings.
These people and I know this -- a lot of judges actually aren't on FaceBook and social media for this theory -- But these are the people that we can trust to make decisions are in our case is to be fair and impartial and if we -- trust stamped.
Up with people they're afraid put on base how we didn't say we trust stamped to decide the most imported cases which is people's lives in criminal -- -- So faithful I'm Terry Hester -- would you be in favor you know giving your thoughts on this FaceBook -- -- would you be in favor of a law that says.
Judges and attorneys can't have lunch together or can't have drink of the bargain.
Now and usually when that happens.
They get the attorney will say -- hadn't happened to me I appear before friends of mine who are judges and the judge will turn to the other council and say.
-- settlements can't tonight are socially friends is that going to be a problem.
And most times the opposing counsel believes that the judge is going to be fair no matter who their friends -- and it's not a problem.
Here the problem lies the defendant wasn't told he found out well so if -- -- defendant had an opportunity to say something.
They need me or to even know about it and -- he would have had a problem with it but the fact that.
That he didn't actually is it really is an extrajudicial relationship no matter what degree of their relationship was.
Can see appearance of impropriety faith I don't think it's having a -- and that you can't.
Socialize with judge is is is -- I think that probably the better lies to suggest that judges.
Don't have FaceBook page looks.
Our faith speaking of the defendant I mean -- of befriending somebody on FaceBook seems kind of in -- inconsequential to me but there's a serious case.
At the heart of this this defendant was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child.
Right if if if a guy like this.
I mean is this potentially.
A means for him to walk.
You know from these charges complete.
You know what's going to happen if if any staying the case will probably have to be retried in front of another judge and I think what the court repeat appeals here did it.
They just -- Every precaution possible because.
They don't want that to happen.
But -- I think that's the problem and why again John.
Most judges aren't on FaceBook a social media because they're concerned about issues like it's about -- not looking good I just think the Court of Appeals -- wait too far because me FaceBook we have hundreds of people on -- -- we don't need to know.
We just acted in this just may not even be running it on FaceBook page a lot of wet basement pages.
And they're he's just from our business purpose it's.
I just to make business connections and they don't even really interact with people on them.
Well I think what this.
Right here are -- -- panic fades Jenkins.
You know social media bring on the -- of the world in my opinion I -- and I am sectional time.
Thank you both good discussion we'll see what the -- Florida assault exam -- that decides it's they're gonna go hear the case thanks.