Shopping for Verdicts
Florida's Middle District is well-regarded, and juries there are known are being conservative. That makes the district attractive for high-profile cases.
Three attempts to prosecute John Gotti Jr. in New York ended in mistrials. Prosecutors have steered his latest trial to Tampa. [Photo: Louis Lanzano/AP Photo]
Whatever the prosecutors’ motivation, it worked for them in the Little case. The Tampa jury found Little and his company guilty of 20 counts of selling obscene materials over the internet and mailing obscene materials by U.S. mail. Little faces 100 years in prison. His attorneys plan to appeal.
Facebook as Lie Detector
Jury consultants routinely refer to the latest research on demographics and human behavior, but their success ultimately depends on one question: Is the prospective juror telling the truth? Amy Singer, president and CEO of Trial Consultants in Fort Lauderdale, says the internet has become a valuable fact-checking tool for jury consultants. “We ask them certain questions, like whether they have a website, whether they have a blog, if they have a MySpace page,” Singer says. “Then, if it’s public, we can really look at those things and see what the people are really, really like — and who their friends are and what their friends are like. If the web provides you with enough information for some people to decide to marry each other, it provides you with enough information to be able to make a more intelligent decision about selecting jurors.”