Lawyers Fume Over Juror Twitter Posts; Blogger Wonders What Would OJ Tweet
Posted Mar 16, 2009 9:37 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Updated: Lawyers in two separate cases sought court intervention after discovering that jurors apparently posted Twitter messages while considering the fate of their clients.
In one case, the Associated Press reports, a juror is accused of posting this message via cell phone: "I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."
Lawyers for the Arkansas building materials company hit with the $12.6 million verdict have cited that message and seven others in its appeal. Meanwhile, lawyers for former Pennsylvania Sen. Vincent Fumo asked a judge to halt jury deliberations after a juror posted remarks on Facebook and Twitter on the status of deliberations in the federal corruption trial, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Fumo was convicted today of all 137 counts against him, according to a separate Inquirer story.
The juror was allowed to remain. One of his messages read: "Stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday everyone!"
News of the Arkansas episode had CBS news commentator Andrew Cohen wondering what some famous trial participants might have posted to Twitter if the technology had been available. Some of his ideas, posted at CBS News Political Hotsheet:
O.J. Simpson, in his 1995 murder trial: “Can’t believe they are going to make me try on those gloves…. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”
Galileo Galilei in his “world is round” inquisition/trial in 1633: “Morons. If world isn’t round why does toilet water swirl in different direction in Australia? And stop poking me with stick!”
Clarence Darrow in the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial”: “Long day in court but watch Larry King Live tonight where I’ll continue to debate evolution with Joan Rivers and Brad Pitt.”
Updated at 2:15 p.m. to include the verdict and ruling in Fumo's case.