The federal judge in the Whitey Bulger trial announced on friday that she would grant the government's request to run background checks on prospective jurors. The judge's ruling was not a real surprise. What was surprising was that the government sought permission from the court to run the background checks. Another surprise was that the court is requiring the government to share the results of the background checks with defense counsel. As a general rule, information discovered about jurors is not subject to the rules of Discovery and need not be turned over to opposing counsel. For more background on the Bulger trial go here and here.