Cases Challenged Over 'Tweeting' Jurors

The juror reportedly wrote that one of his main interests was blogging. Fumo's lawyers argued that "given his interest in blogs, his apparent enthusiasm and his seeming lack of discretion," the juror may have read blog posts about the trial.

The juror told the judge Monday that no one had responded to his comments about the Fumo case. He said the posts were a way to express his thoughts and were not intended to communicate with others.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment. NiaLena Caravasos, one of Fumo's lawyers, said she expects that the issue will be raised on appeal.

In Fayetteville, Ark., lawyers for Russell Wright and his company, Stoam Holdings, asked a judge to overturn a $12.6 million verdict and grant their client a new trial after finding that a juror used Twitter to post messages about the case.

A jury awarded the money to Mark Deihl and William Nystrom, two men who invested in Stoam. Deihl and Nystrom's lawyers argued the company was a scam.

According to court papers, Johnathan Pollard, the juror, posted a message about what he was doing that day that read, "Oh, nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."

Another read: "Oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter."

Defense: Jurors 'Tweets' Show Bias

The motion for a new trial argued that Pollard's "tweets" showed that he was biased against Stoam and "predisposed toward giving a verdict that would impress his audience."

Powell admitted to using Twitter during the trial but told ABC News affiliate KHBS that he never included details about the proceedings.

"I was just doing what I do every day," he said. "It wasn't until after it was over that I said anything specific about the trial."

The plaintiffs' attorney, Greg Brown, said he was working on a response to the motion and said a hearing on the issue had not been scheduled. He said the main issue was whether Pollard was influenced by outside information.

Brown predicted that the courts will have to deal with jurors using social networking more.

"The technology is moving so fast that it's difficult for the legal world to keep up," he said.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7095018.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...