Blogging Juror Booted in Murder Case
Posted Jun 7, 2007 5:04 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Here's another category to add to the list of courtroom players who need to be told not to blog about an ongoing trial. Jurors.
As the Miami Herald puts it, "If you are a juror told by a federal judge not to read newspaper stories about a case you are hearing, here is another tip: Don't go on a newspaper website, click on a story about the case and jump into the lively discussion of whether the defendant should be put to death."
Violating this rule got an alternate juror booted from the panel yesterday in a capital case over the murder of a Broward County sheriff's deputy, the paper reports. She was outed by prosecutors who were surfing the Internet to look for possible postings by a juror, although the Herald article doesn't explain why it occurred to them to do so. The juror told the judge she hadn't realized that prohibitions against reading newspaper articles about the case and talking about it with others covered her Internet comments.
A Boston doctor abruptly settled the medical malpractice case in which he was a defendant last month, after he was found to be blogging about the trial as "Flea." The plaintiff attorney in that case reportedly found out about the blog after being tipped by a colleague who recognized the doc had outed himself by describing in his blog a public talk given by the plaintiff lawyer and identifying her role in his case.