by KYW’s Tony Romeo
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is reviewing rules of courtroom conduct with an eye toward issues raised by new technology and social networking.
One big issue is whether to allow the use of Twitter, which enables real-time transmission of trial proceedings from the courtroom.
The judge in the Bonusgate trial of former House Democratic whip Mike Veon and two aides allowed reporters to “tweet” during the trial. But Pennsylvania Supreme Court chief justice Ronald Castille says there’s less concern about reporters than there is about jurors using electronics to communicate with individuals outside the courtroom, or to seek information they’re not supposed to see:
“We’re mostly worried about jurors using it. And then there’s also the question about witness intimidation, because you can use some of those phones with cameras to take pictures of individuals, say, in the hallway.”
Castille says the state Supreme Court has committees reviewing those issues with the aim of crafting updated rules for courtrooms.