Attorney: Internet Use Could Bias Jury In Peterson Case

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Attorneys for accused killer Drew Peterson are trying to find ways to make sure their case does not get sabotaged by jurors using the Internet.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, is mainly worried about jurors using the Internet to look up information Peterson that is not admitted during the trial, and then use that to form an opinion on a verdict.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

He is also worried about jurors posting comments on Twitter and Facebook during the trial.

For that reason, the Peterson defense team is trying to come up with ways to prevent or monitor Internet and social media use by jurors.

Brodsky said possible ways include “asking jurors who are picked for their IP addresses, what their Internet provider is, what their Facebook page is, what their Twitter handle is.”

One information technology professional told Brodsky that cookies could be put on the jurors’ computers and smart phones to squeal on them electronically if they break the rules. But Brodsky admits such a measure would be extreme.

Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, has been held since May 2009 on charges that he murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose body was found in a dry bathtub in March 2004.

Savio’s death was originally ruled an accidental drowning by the Will County Coroner’s office. But after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007, Savio’s body was exhumed and her death was reclassified as a homicide.

Peterson has not been charged in Stacy’s disappearance, but Illinois State Police believe she is dead, and have named Peterson a person of interest.

  • Jim

    Once the jury finds out there isn’t any evidence to even come close to proving guilt, it’ll be a done deal anyway!

    • Tom

      Jim-You have to be either a defense attorney, a convicted felon or just simply have your head in the sand. Has there ever been a case presented in any court that would lead you to believe the defendant was guilty? Even after they were convicted? I think the last time you gaffed was the cop that was off duty, drunk, ran over and killed a kid on his bike and then fled the scene. If I ever get in trouble, regradless of a mountain of evidence against me, to include video evidence and my own confession, i’ll know you are in my corner.

      • Jim

        These over zealous prosecuters jumped the gun on this case. There is no evidence. Forget about the second autopsy, bought and paid for and forget any hearsay from people that hate his guts. there’s nothing left! As far as the cop story, you don’t know how impared he was. An experienced drinker needs to be way over .08 before they are impared. I simply raised the question, what would have happened if alcohol wasn’t involved? Would it then have been the kid’s fault? We’ll never know.

  • juju

    Never seen a white guy treated so black.

  • Me

    Extreme? It will never happen because the Will County prosecutor made his mind up before exhuming Ms Savio’s body that Peterson will go down for both women’s demises. The Jury Pool is so tainted by Savio’s family, STacey’s family, the Will County prosecutor and Nancy Grace that 95% of the jurors walking in will have their mind already made up before any evidence is provided.

    Drew Peterson is a stuck-up, a$$…but did he kill Ms Savio and\or Stacey? I haven’t seen enough evidence to truly judge it. Would I let my, currently 15yo, daughter date\marry him if he was out of jail? No…

    • Me

      BTW…. I live in Will Co and don’t really want to have to take the 18-20 months that this trial will most likely take off from work.

  • Me2

    I saw the movie on Lifetime.There is one part with Stacy laying in the marital bed where she tells Drew I will make your life difficult. I can’t help it but I believe that.I do not do Facebook or Twitter.Even if she is alive who cares.She knew exactly what she got into and I have a hard time feeling sorry for her.She set out to break up the third marriage.As for the third wife she knew what she was getting into also.Anything could have happened to her inside her bathroom.And you have to remember Kathleen had a boyfriend.He also had a key to her house.That is why I do not believe anything on this case.

  • Tom

    Brodsky is getting more and more hysterical as the trial draws closer. IP addresses, Twitter handles, blah blah blah. What’s next. The jurors sperm count? And the judicial system is left to wonder why so many people try to get out of sitting on a jury.

    • Me

      would you rather the jury be sequestered during the trial? That’s basically what Brodsky is asking for, without having to lock them up.

  • Drew Peterson Lawyer Wants To Ban Jurors From Social Media « CrimeAlertBlog.Com

    […] One possible tactic Brodsky is considering, according to CBS Chicago, is “asking jurors who are picked for their IP addresses, what their Internet provider is, what…. […]

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