CT Judge OK’s Facebook Joking Juror & Juror Facebook-friending

On October 5, 2011, a Connecticut federal court judge declined to order a new trial after the defendant in a tax evasion case learned that  (a) “Juror X” was posting on Facebook during trial that he “may get 2 hang someone… can’t wait” and “Guinness for lunch break” and (b) “Juror X” was Facebook-friending “Juror Y.”  

During an in camera evidentiary hearing, Juror X stated that the “hanging” comment was simply a joke and that he kept an open mind throughout the trial.  Likewise, he acknowledged that he Facebook-friended Juror Y but that they never have improper communications during the trial.

The order in United States v. Stavros M. Ganias is here.

1st Amendment
Is a Demand for an Apology = Extortion? (Social Media & First Amendment:U.S. v. Hobgood)

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Privacy
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Ethics
Florida Supreme Court Allows Judges to be Facebook Friends With Lawyers But Four Justices Disagree With the Practice (“I write to strongly urge judges not to participate in Facebook”)

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