Juror Cited for Contempt for Friend Requesting Defendant

    September 6, 2011

    A Texas juror  booted from trial for trying to “friend” the defendant on Facebook has been cited for contempt, the Star-Telegram reports.

    While serving as a juror in a civil trial arising out of a car accident, Jonathan Hudson tried to “friend” the defendant and discussed the case on his Facebook page, according to court records. The woman notified her lawyer who, in turn, told the presiding judge, Wade Birdwell.

    “I’ve never seen this before,” prosecutor Chris Ponder said in the report. “But I’m afraid this is a new reality as the technology is so ubiquitous that we’ll have these types of things occur.”

    * * *

    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sunday that Hudson attorney Steve Gordon says his client “made a silly mistake.”

    Texas recently added specific language to jury instructions that bans jurors from discussing the case on social networking sites. Hudson reportedly received those instructions prior to sending the Facebook request.

    Florida recently enacted similar standard jury instructions that instruct jurors not to discuss the case through “electronic communication, such as a blog, Twitter, e-mail, text message, or any other means.”

    Thanks to Jane Muir, Esq. for the link.

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