We've written many, many times about how technology is invading the courtroom in ways that courts still aren't entirely prepared to handle. Social networking sites are definitely becoming an issue. There was the juror who Twittered
during a trial, and almost led to a retrial. There was the juror who sent a MySpace message
to the defendant. But, of course, the social network that pops up all the time with juries is Facebook. There was the case where jurors became Facebook friends
with each other, and another where a juror asked her friends
on Facebook, whether she should go with guilty/not guilty. In a lot of cases, these users are just using Facebook/Twitter/MySpace the way they normally would -- as an informal way of communication. But that doesn't mean judges have to like it.
In the latest such story, a woman who joked on Facebook that she was "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're GUILTY," wasn't just kicked off the jury, but ordered to write a five-page essay on "the constitutional right to a fair trial,"
and ordered to pay $250.
Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is how this all came to light. Apparently, the 17-year-old son of the lawyer for the defendant found the comment on Facebook, told his father, who brought it to the court's attention. Kids these days...