The Facebook jury

If you have to serve on a jury in a criminal trial, you’d more than likely think very carefully about discussing that trial outside the jury room and what’s going on in court.

You wouldn’t blog about it, tweet it or write on your wall about it. Would you?

No such worries for a woman juror in Burnley, UK, who ran a poll on Facebook asking her friends to vote on whether they thought the accused were guilty or not.

[…] The woman posted details of the child abduction and sex assault case on the website. Then she told friends: “I don’t know which way to go, so I’m holding a poll.”

Jurors are forbidden from discussing details of cases even with their closest family members. The woman was dismissed after a tip-off to Burnley Crown Court, Lancs. The trial continued with 11 jurors. It was thought she did not use privacy settings, meaning the Facebook posts could be read by anyone.

Last night a legal source said the juror could have been charged with contempt of court — and the trial scrapped. The expert added: “It defies belief. She obviously has no grasp of how the judicial process works in this country. She had been asking her mates what they thought — and some people came back with guilty verdicts.”

Amazing but true according to The Sun and lots of mainstream media reports, via BrandRepublic.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Michelle / chelpixie

    A few years ago I was taking a college course in Legal Ethics when we got into a discussion heatedly about the Scott Peterson case, if he was guilty or innocent or how we could even decide that.

    A classmate, who was aiming at getting her JD said on the classroom message board open to students and teachers alike that everyone arrested was guilty until proven innocent.

    This doesn't surprise me after hearing that. The majority of Americans do not understand the law and it's processes.

Comments are closed.