Internet Law

Twitter accounts of Jodi Arias sentencing jurors should be monitored, lawyers tell judge


Lawyers for Jodi Arias are asking a judge to order sentencing jurors to turn over Twitter account information so it can be monitored.

The lawyers asked for information on Twitter accounts and handles to make sure jurors in a new sentencing hearing are not communicating or receiving information about the case on the social media site, report the Associated Press, the Phoenix New Times and ABC15.

Arias was convicted of murder in the death of her boyfriend, but jurors in the Arizona case were unable to agree on whether she should get the death penalty during a May hearing. Arias’ lawyers said they learned afterward that an alternate juror had used Twitter to communicate with a journalist, asserting that she was allowed to use social media if she didn’t discuss the case. The alternate also had a conversation on Facebook in which another person wrote that if Arias “does have Latina blood, it may explain a temper lol,” according to an attachment to the lawyers’ motion (PDF).

The lawyers say the juror “obviously misunderstood” the judge’s admonition about the use of social media.

Even if the jurors don’t comment on Twitter, they may be influenced by incoming tweets, the lawyers say. “Twitter provides those who would like to influence Ms. Arias’ jury with the means to do so in a way that could go undetected should this motion be denied,” the motion says.

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