FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Juror Expelled for Posting Verdict on Facebook

Social media and jurors do not mix. This has already been made clear in a few cases of twittering jurors, and now in one example of frivolous facebooking. A juror in a Detroit resisting arrest trial posted to her Facebook page how much she was looking forward to announcing a guilty jury verdict. One small problem, the trial was not over and the jury had not yet reached that verdict.

The juror, Hadley Jons, was replaced by the unhappy presiding judge when the jury returned from its break the following day, according to the Canadian Associated Press. Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski told a local paper she was very 'disturbed' by Jons' actions.

Jons herself may be disturbed if she faces a contempt citation as suggested by the defense attorney. "I would like to see her get some jail time, nothing major, a few hours or overnight," defense attorney Saleema Sheikh told the CP. "This is the jury system. People need to know how important it is."

The posting was actually tracked down by the sharp-eyed son of attorney Sheikh, Jaxon Goodman, who works in his mom's law office and clearly deserves a raise. Goodman understood, even if Ms. Hadley Jons did not, that this was an inappropriate communication by a juror which could have easily led to a mistrial. Jury deliberations are always to be carried out in complete secrecy, which obviously precludes placing your thoughts about the case for viewing by your 500 Facebook friends.

With the alternate juror in place, the 11 remaining jurors reached the jury verdict convicting the defendant of the felony charge in the case, but could not come to a decision on an additional misdemeanor charge, the CP reports. Watch Facebook for the status update on an appeal.

Related Resources: