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Oops. Juror Calls Defendant Guilty on Facebook, Before Verdict

Posted Sep 2, 2010 2:28 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Updated: A Michigan juror who indicated in a Facebook post that she believed the defendant in her case is guilty—before the case went to verdict—wound up on the hot seat, too, in the Macomb County trial.

The defendant was convicted of resisting arrest after an alternate was substituted for juror Hadley Jons, 20, according to the Associated Press and Mlive.com.

Mlive reports that Jons wrote this Aug. 11 note to her friends on Facebook, saying that she was "actually excited for jury duty tomorrow...it's gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're guilty. :P"

Meanwhile, Jons had to return to court today for a contempt hearing. After apologizing, she was ordered to pay a $250 fine and required to write a five-page essay, by Oct. 1, on the Sixth Amendment, which gives the defendant a right to a fair and impartial jury, reports the Daily Tribune.

Defense lawyer Saleema Goodman Sheikh's 17-year-old son, who graduated from high school this year, discovered the Facebook post by Jons as he was researching jurors online for his mother, according to the newspaper.

"She disregarded the oath, she disobeyed the judge. It calls into question the whole system, it compromises the integrity of the system," says Sheikh of Jons' Facebook post.

While expressing confidence in the judge and her determination about the appropriate punishment, Sheikh says in a video embedded in the Tribune article that she herself would have liked to see Jons spend a night in jail "because I think that would have made a very big impact and impression," not only on Jons but on other potential jurors.

Additional coverage:

Associated Press: "Judge punishes Michigan juror for Facebook post"

Detroit News: "Juror 'very sorry' for Facebook post, to pay $250 fine"

Last updated on Sept. 2 to include subsequent coverage about contempt hearing.

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