Monday, March 16, 2009

Twittering juror jeopardizes Fumo trial


The high-profile, political corruption trial of former Pennsylvania state Senator Vincent Fumo, which took years for federal prosecutors to prepare and weeks to present, may be in jeopardy due to one juror's decision to send posts on the progress of the jury's deliberations to the Internet's social-networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that:

"Defense lawyers for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo moved late yesterday for an immediate halt in jury deliberations and the removal of one juror, contending that the juror posted oblique remarks on Facebook.com and Twitter.com - including one declaring, "Stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday everyone!"

A hearing is expected this morning on the petition of defense attorneys who are arguing that "...one or more jurors ought to be removed and possibly replaced . . . or that a mistrial will be required."

Just last week, a building-materials company in Arkansas and its owner appealed a $12.6 million verdict against them, alleging that during the trial a juror had posted messages on Twitter that showed he was biased against them.

You'll find the full story here

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