Juror Misconduct: Jurors as Facebook Friends

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When you meet someone and don’t think to exchange digits you can usually find them with Facebook. That’s just how it might be for two people who meet in the Jurors’ Lounge, but when Juror Number 1 and Juror Number 5 became Facebook Friends there was HUGE potential for mischief.

1 and 5 served on a jury that convicted several gang members of attempted murder. 1 liked to post status updates on how his days were going, and he didn’t stop during the trial. Not surprisingly, 5 saw 1’s posts…

After the verdict was in, 5 (perhaps in a fit of righteousness?) told the new felons’ lawyers about 1’s posts. 1 said that he had deleted the posts, and that they were only about his boredom with some evidence presentations (PowerPoints are tough to watch).  However, the judge wanted Facebook to recover the posts. 1 said no, and claimed that the Fifth Amendment protected the posts because they might be used to show that 1 had committed perjury.

Unfortunately, the end of this story is in the records of a California State Court (so not online like the federal courts), and we are left to wonder. I have no idea what 1 was up to during this evidence hearing (maybe perjury?), but it seems to have been a lot more than an ill-advised status update.

Juror Number One v. California
Eastern District of California
Case 2:12-cv-02199
From the Complaint

Last Updated: February 2, 2013

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