Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

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In my third year of law school, I helped launch a legal reporting blog at my school; Legal As She Is Spoke gives students a chance to practice writing (and thinking) about the law.  The stories principally correct the mangled or absent legal analysis in the news.  I do a bit of that here, but I think these folks do a better job than I do most of the time.

My new favorite is “Judge Throws (Face)Book at Juror” — we all know it’s a bad thing for a juror to be eager to convict someone before the end of the trial.  But why exactly is it such a bad thing?  The answers can be surprising sometimes.

During a trial in Massachusetts, a juror fired off an e-mail to 800 of his closest friends saying, “[j]ust say he’s guilty and lets [sic] get on with our lives!” The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected the defendant’s claim that he was prejudiced by the juror misconduct.

The court reasoned that the jurors were not exposed to any extraneous information that would have compromised the fairness of the trial. Similarly, Ms. Jons’s Facebook post is not a search for information related to the case, but a communication with her friends about the case.

Read the rest at Legal as She is Spoke.