Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Blogs Not Cool Enough to Warrant Change of Venue

Posted by Maggie on December 4, 2007

An enterprising defense attorney in Tennessee argued that blogs tainted his jury pool in an effort to get a change of venue. His client, Eric Boyd, is charged as an accessory after the fact in the murder of a young couple in Knoxville. The Court denied the motion.

What surprised me was the focus of the blogging in the case. The victims were white and all five defendants are black. Conservative bloggers claimed the liberal media didn’t give the story enough focus because the victims were white. To which I say, Really? Seriously? Because in this part of the South (and pretty much the rest of the country) it’s exactly the opposite. Worse, reports started that the bodies had been mutilated horrifically and law enforcement didn’t deny these claims for months.

While the defense cited local news reports as well, it’s hard to imagine blogs tainting an entire jury pool. Give it ten years and then it may work. But the debate, as noted in the law.com article, is starting to move into speech issues for bloggers. The bloggers in this case, assisted by the mainstream media, may have given inaccurate information, but you’d better not touch their speech rights, thank you very much.

One Response to “Blogs Not Cool Enough to Warrant Change of Venue”

  1. Idetrorce said

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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