Facebook post gets Juror in hot water
Before every trial begins, judges now routinely instruct jurors not to discuss the case with each other or with anyone else until they have heard all of the evidence and are deliberating together in the jury room. Because of the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, most judges also instruct jurors not to post or discuss anything about the trial on social networking sites.
Recently, a juror in Michigan had to be removed from a jury because the juror posted an opinion that the defendant was guilty before the trial was finished! Here's the story from the Associated Press:
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. A judge removed a juror from a trial in suburban Detroit after the young woman wrote on Facebook that the defendant was guilty. The problem? The trial wasn't over.
Hadley Jons, of Warren just north of Detroit, could be found in contempt when she returns to the Macomb County circuit court Thursday.
Jons, 20, was a juror in a case of resisting arrest. On Aug. 11, a day off from the trial and before the prosecution finished its case, she wrote on Facebook that it was "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're guilty."
The post was discovered by defense lawyer Saleema Sheikh's son.
Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski confronted Jons the next day and replaced her with an alternate.
"You don't know how disturbing this is," Druzinski said, according to The Macomb Daily.
A message seeking comment was left for Jons on Monday.
"I would like to see her get some jail time, nothing major, a few hours or overnight," Sheikh said. "This is the jury system. People need to know how important it is."
Sheikh's son, Jaxon Goodman, discovered the comment while checking jurors' names on the Internet. He works in his mother's law office.
"I'm really proud of him," Sheikh said.
Without Jons, the jury convicted Sheikh's client of a felony but couldn't agree on a separate misdemeanor charge.