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Juror Tweets Could Create Mistrial

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the cell-jammers-being-installed-next-week dept.

Social Networks 148

nandemoari writes "Russell Wright and his construction company, Stoam Holdings, recently lost a $12 million dollar lawsuit brought by investors. But lawyers for the firm have complained that juror Johnathan Powell's Twitter comments broke rules when discussing the civil case with the public. The arguments in this dispute center on two points. Powell insists (and the evidence appears to back him up) that he did not make any pertinent updates until after the verdict was given; if that's the case, the objection would presumably be thrown out. If Powell did post updates during the trial, the judge must decide whether he was actively discussing the case. Powell says he only posted messages and did not read any replies. Intriguingly, the lawyers for Stoam Holding are not arguing so much that other people directly influenced Powell's judgment, rather that he might have felt a need to agree to a spectacular verdict to impress the people reading his posts."

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Is that a Canary? (1, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218097)

Tweets? Canary? Sing like a Jailbird?

C'mon, the irony was practically slapping you in the face Stooge style...

Re:Is that a Canary? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218153)

I don't know what's worse: that a juror may have compromised a trial, that they let someone who uses twitter decide a 12 million dollar case, or "tweets."

Re:Is that a Canary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218789)

I don't know what's worse: that a juror may have compromised a trial, that they let someone who uses twitter decide a 12 million dollar case, or "tweets."

Yup. 12 people not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Re:Is that a Canary? (3, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219497)

The movie version will be called "Twelve Angry Tweets" when it comes out next year. :P

Re:Is that a Canary? (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220025)

I would pay to watch that. A modernized version of "Twelve Angry Men" (and I don't mean that episode of Monk) might not be a bad thing, if pulled off right.

Re:Is that a Canary? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27221395)

I believe that movie is good due to some of the historical perspective within it. I don't think it would pull a good remake.

Re:Is that a Canary? (1)

passion (84900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27221229)

I think there's a reason they call people who send those messages twits.

Re:Is that a Canary? Islam is Pedophilia tsarkon . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218197)

Tales from the Koran How The Profit Muhammad met his end.

We shove Jimmy Dean Homestyle Pork Sausage up The Profit Muhammad's ass. Then while the Giver strokes me off I shoot my wad in The Profit Muhammad's face after which we force The Profit Muhammad to fellate an 800 pound Chester White. Simultaneously two Hasidic rabbis open their kosher bowels unleashing torrents of gefilte shit on The Profit Muhammad's head and back while The Giver pumps The Profit Muhammad from behind. After the hog shoots its wad in The Profit Muhammad's mouth The Giver shoots his load up The Profit Muhammad's rectum. Then unexpectedly the Chester White roots out The Profit Muhammad's penis and testicles hungrily biting them off gobbling them down with full porcine fury. We bury the newly castrated The Profit Muhammad up to his nose in pig manure. Two AIDS infected Bowery whores stuff their used condoms and clotted tampon down The Profit Muhammad's throat and crack a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 over his skull.

We then leave him for the hogs to munch on. The Profit Muhammad is swine feed and by tomorrow he will be swine manure.

GOAT KORAN

For it is written in Mine book that goats are PLEASING and HOLY in Mine eyes. I have told the Prophet Muhammad peace on him! that he should try a goat but he is an ass-infidel and pursues young Muslims. For this is pleasing in Mine eyes as well! I hereby issue a Fatwah: May the asses of the infidels be reamed by the Prophet peace on him! until they look like the goatse.cx man who is of the devil.

M______The [balder.org]
o____Prophet [balder.org]
h____Muhammad [balder.org]
a___./___o\ [balder.org]
m___I______| [balder.org]
m___I____\== [balder.org]
a___\______/ [balder.org]
d______|| [balder.org]
.______:; [balder.org]
F______:;\________________________Muslims [balder.org]
u______:;\\_______________________/______\ [balder.org]
c______:;_\\_____________________/________\ [balder.org]
k______:;__\\____________________/__o__o__\ [balder.org]
s______:;___&&___:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;|____>___/ [balder.org]
.|\\___:;8=KORAN=*O_________:;____\__\_/_/ [balder.org]
A|_\\__:;________:;_________:;_____\----/ [balder.org]
s|__\\_:;_______:;___________:;_ [balder.org]
s|___\\:;:;:;:;:;_____________:;:; [balder.org]

ISLAM

Kill all Muslims. Kill all Muhammadans. Kill all Arabs. Kill all Towel Heads. Kill all Camel Jockeys. Kill all Sand Niggers. Kill all Dune Coons. Kill all Islam. Nuke their countries to hell. Nuke them again. Death to Islam. I piss on Mecca. I spit on the Koran. I shit on The Profit Muhammad. I call on the Destruction of Mecca and Medina, the most unholy shit dumps on earth. You don't have to be a Kreskin to predict Osama bin Laden's future. And to all you Abdul The Profit Muhammad Al-Jaraazi Abdullah Mustafuh Atta Quadaphi Fuck-Head Al-Towel-Rag - Your "God" is our "Satan," have fun burning you scum. You disgusting animals, you will be a fresh farm of much needed organs for people who need livers and hearts, but I personally would rather die than receive a heart or liver from your satanic self. Hey, Ayatollah towel heads, you will be sent to heaven to meet your maker. (That would be Satan). I have no ability to stop my hatred towards you Ayatollahs, you better not peep out like a mushroom in a festering swamp lest I shoot your vile head off and harvest your organs for people who need them and cremate your vile self for crop fertilizer.

Islam Towel Song:

99 Towel Heads Up On The Wall, 99 Sheep fucking twits, You shoot one down, You kick it around, 98 Rag Heads left on the Wall.

98 Cumlicking Chickenshits on the Wall, 98 Camel sucking penis stuffers, You shoot one down, You kick it around, 97 slimy turds left on the wall.

97 Raghead Swine on the wall, 97 Shit Encrusted pukes, You shoot one down, You kick it around, 96 flea harbors left on the wall.

96 Moronic idol polishers on the wall , 96 pink skirted sphincter tasters, You shoot one down, You kick it around, 95 pillow biters left on the wall.

95 pustuled penis suckers on the wall, 95 useless festering maggots, You shoot one down, You kick it around, 94 brainwashed puddle scum left on the wall.

The Prophet Mohammad Harbinger of the Arab Plague and inventor of Arab Anal Surveyor

Re:Is that a Canary? Islam is Pedophilia tsarkon . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218957)

Im just saying. If you are gonna go after the Towel headed religion. Dont do it AC...

Re:Is that a Canary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219635)

"Do you solemnly swear..."

"No, but I know all the woids!"

But I digress. So, are twitter posts called "tweets" because the users are already referred to as twits ?

Tweet? (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218107)

I can't wait til "Twitter" passes and we can stop using retarded words like "tweet".

Twitter is not some genius website worth the $55,000,000 it's raised. I could recreate the entire site's functionality in 15 minutes.

Re:Tweet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218163)

Then let's see you walk the walk, otherwise you're just a windbag who talks the talk.

Re:Tweet? (1, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218221)

I've made many websites, far more complex than that pile of trash. Feel free to look at the one in my sig.

Re:Tweet? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218375)

I've made many websites, far more complex than that pile of trash. Feel free to look at the one in my sig. -- Free Canadian Online Dating [dreamsingles.ca]

You should've called it twatter.

Re:Tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219277)

Posting AC just to tell you: I read this and thought, "Holy crap I wish I had mod points." Then I noticed that I have mod points. :D

Re:Tweet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218421)

No one cares about your previous work. You have 15 minutes to recreate twitter or look like an exaggerating fucktard.

Starting now.

Re:Tweet? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218937)

Dude, great work! Takes me right back to 1998. Oh wait, you were going for 'retro', right?

Re:Tweet? (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219019)

I've made many websites, far more complex than that pile of trash. Feel free to look at the one in my sig.

And they scale effectively up to millions of users while maintaining 98.7% uptime or better?

I agree twitter is baffling in its popularity, and probably overvalued - but in my own experience when someone says "I can code X in 20 minutes" it usually indicates a serious lack of understanding of the requirements ;) *

* "Hello World" excepted from this.

Re:Tweet? (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220141)

With the correct tools scaling to 20 million users is trivial as is 99.5% up time. And.5% downtime (1.8 days a year) is considered crap in most projects as it's almost a fucking hour a week. Twitter is a bad joke that no competent person want's anything to do with building.

PS: I have worked on a project with a combined downtime over 10 years of less than 5 hours including scheduled downtime.

Re:Tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27221077)

PS: I have worked on a project with a combined downtime over 10 years

Damn, was it ever even—

of less than 5 hours

...

I see.

Re:Tweet? (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220201)

When your database consists of a users table and a posts table, yeah, scaling isn't hard.

Re:Tweet? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219267)

Sounds like your beating us up because you just realized that the universe does not revolve around you.

Life sucks sometimes, especially when the appearance of less skill makes more money. Unfortunately it doesn't matter how much skill you have unless you can market it effectively.

Re:Tweet? (5, Funny)

Roane (1075393) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218249)

I prefer using the preexisting terminology for Twitter users, "twit".

Re:Tweet? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218599)

I prefer using the preexisting terminology for Twitter users, "twit".

I think you mean "silly twat".

Re:Tweet? (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218287)

I could recreate the entire site's functionality in 15 minutes.

The functionality isn't what's important, it's the community that is. Plenty of people have done MySpace and Facebook prior to both of them being around (webrings, GeoCities, etc are all related to those two sites) but the biggest draw is the number of users who have latched to make it successful.

That said, if you come up with a website that has the same (or preferably better) functionality and better network scalability and uptime as well as attract a customer base that rivals Twitter, then by all means go for it. In fact, if it's good enough I'm sure people will eventually make the switch and make you rich.

Let me know what retarded word you come up with to describe your service's micro-blog posts so that we can make fun of it here and get modded appropriately too.

Re:Tweet? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218347)

Exactly, I'm sure after the many, many, many, changes to Facebook many users wanted to leave, but if their friends aren't on the other social networking sites, why bother? And until something manages to beat Facebook in terms of ease of use (that part should be easy by now), support (Facebook (and even Twitter) has apps for the Blackberry, iPhone, etc), and features, people aren't going to jump ship in large numbers even if you have managed to tick off about 15% of your users.

Re:Tweet? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218715)

Ever seen those gigantic flocks of birds instantly change course? It's a hell of a noise... Why can't people do the same? They disappear from one place and all show up on the next. Like a Star Trek transporter...with a bit more "paperwork"...just sign here, and here, and here....and here.....and here...

Re:Tweet? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218845)

Because unlike most of us, some people simply don't really care about their online community, others rarely get on, etc. For a migration to be successful, everyone has to move at once. Even if two of my college friends that I talk to decide to stay on Facebook rather then move to *shiny new social network* more then likely I will be logging into Facebook every now and then to talk to them, that in Facebook's status doesn't show up as a "lost" customer, only a customer that rarely gets on anymore. Social networking is one thing that you really can't be a "trend-setter" in, if I switch to using Haiku, it doesn't really matter if I am one of the few people that use is, but if I go to a social networking site with only a few people on it, whats the use?

Re:Tweet? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218361)

From his tone, I imagine he'll call it Bait. messaging will be call baiting, and thus he'll be the master baiter.

Re:Tweet? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218549)

I'd call it "coccyx".

What? I meant that it's from the base of the spine.

Re:Tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218847)

twats?

Re:Tweet? (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219145)

I like acronyms. How about we call it Fast And Really Tiny? All you FARTers will love FARTing on each other!

Re:Tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219985)

FART? Is this the Canadian version of Twitter?

Re:Tweet? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27220147)

I like acronyms. How about we call it Fast And Really Tiny? All you FARTers will love FARTing on each other!

Microblog posts will be called "toots." Larger posts will be known as "dumps." The website infrastructure will be described as a collection of Advanced Stratocumulus Servers, and this particular form of cloud computing will be referred to as occurring "in the ASS."

Re:Tweet? (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 5 years ago | (#27221587)

The functionality isn't what's important, it's the community that is.

Yup, critical mass is extremely important. It's the reason we're stuck with eBay and Paypal even though BOTH [ebaysucks.com] PRETTY [paypalsucks.org] MUCH [aboutpaypal.org] SUCK [paypalsucks.com] .

Re:Tweet? (2, Funny)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218331)

I find the term annoying myself. I'd have a lot easier time taking the thing seriously if it had a name like SMS-over-IP. If I pitched it as a campaign avenue to my 60 year old boss, I'd get a response something like "If we're going to send our customers "tweets", we might as well go all out and send them fart blossoms or some other made up nonsense."

Re:Tweet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218649)

What's actually stopping you selling it to your boss as SMS-over-IP? Sounds like a pretty good generic term to me.

Hell, take a little licence with the acronym! phoenetically abbreviate SMSOIP ("sumzoip") and you get ZOIP: the natural progression from VOIP.

Re:Tweet? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27220291)

Bah, whatever. I'm off to register the next big thing: fart-blossoms.com...

- T

Time's a tickin' (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218517)

[Iron Chef Public Address Voice] SEVEN MINUTES ARE GONE.

EIGHT MINUTES REMAIN.

If you don't believe me check the clock on the mantle. I've used it dozens of times. I'm qualified to discuss time.

E

Re:Tweet? (3, Insightful)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219673)

That's like the thought process of someone looking at an abstract painting, like a Jackson Pollock, and saying, 'My five year old could have done that!"
The point is, you didn't, they did, and you can only wish that you had.

It's the Juror's Fault (5, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218127)

He made tweets like:

"So, Johnathan, what did you do today?' Oh, nothing really. I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money!"
and
"Oh, and nobody buy Stoam. It's bad mojo, and they'll probably cease to exist, now that their wallet is $12M lighter. http://www.stoam.com/ [stoam.com] ."

He was clearly show-boating for his tweeter fans, even if in jest. Therefore, I do think there is a chance that he "felt a need to agree to a spectacular verdict to impress the people reading his posts."

While it is sucks that there may have to be a retrial, the important of impartial justice supersedes the inconvenience.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (5, Insightful)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218277)

While it is sucks that there may have to be a retrial, the important of impartial justice supersedes the inconvenience.

If only I had mod points. The potential issue is that a juror may have been showboating (i.e., not being impartial). The fact that it was done using Twitter is irrelevant. It's really no different than if he went home and said these things to everyone in person...except that the lawyers probably wouldn't have known about it then.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (1, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218327)

I don't think the lawyers have anything here. Whether you email all your friends afterwards, step out on the courthouse lawn and scream it, or gloat about it on your Facebook status....that's what you get with a jury of peers.

If you want robots deciding your fate, I wouldn't recommend breaking the law.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219109)

The potential issue is that a juror may have been showboating (i.e., not being impartial).

The summary says this was done *after* the trial.

In that case, wouldn't you kind of, I don't know, expect the juror to not be impartial anymore. You know, having arrived at a decision and all.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (4, Interesting)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218369)

I guess it is high time proper behaviour in the digital landscape become a serious, and mandatory, course at all elementary and high schools. And perhaps send someone around to politicians, judges, teachers, and generally everyone above the age of twenty who do not know not to post stupid shit online.

"So, Johnathan, what did you do today?' Oh, nothing really. I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money!" and "Oh, and nobody buy Stoam. It's bad mojo, and they'll probably cease to exist, now that their wallet is $12M lighter. http://www.stoam.com/ [stoam.com] [stoam.com]."

Those comments pretty much makes it look like this guy should never have been a juror in the first place.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (1)

BarefootClown (267581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220781)

Seems to me that a contempt-of-court charge and a bill for the costs of the new trial (including the parties' legal bills, of course) for Mr. Powell ought to be plenty of schooling for all of us.

Play with fire, get burnt.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218525)

But ... but ... the defendant is a corporation, just like micro$oft, and IBM. They probably employ like managers and people with MBAs and stuff! So doesn't that mean that by the slashdot system of logic, the juror deserves a medal?

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (5, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218609)

Are those really his posts? If so, then there's clearly grounds for a mistrial.

Disclaimer: My legal training is from /. plus Law and Order.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219003)

Isn't Law & Order one of those cop procedural dramas where "breaking in with a lock pick to find evidence to ask for a warrant" is considered part of the procedure?

Contempt and mistrial (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218615)

Juror needs to be arrested on contempt charges, and the trial needs to be a mistrial. What an idiot.

Make him pay for the 2nd trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219041)

Make this ass-hat pay for the 2nd trial, or at least the winning party's side.

Re:Make him pay for the 2nd trial (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220001)

I agree the guy is an ass-hat (well, if he posted during the trial that is). But given that jurors are forced to work for no pay, it's not clear to me that it's fair they should have to pay for everyone else's time just for making a mistake. Finding the money for a 2nd trial is no different to what jurors have to do as standard for the 1st trial.

punish him (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219443)

Any jury I've ever been asked to serve on...the judge makes one thing clear. DO NOT DISCUSS this with anyone. I would think if he did post something on twitter, he violated the rules handed down by the judge. I don't buy the "I posted but didn't read any responses" argument. That's like someone saying I smoked pot but didn't inhale.

Re:punish him (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220615)

That's like someone saying I smoked pot but didn't inhale.

Wait, isn't that an argument that works everytime?!!! Bill? Michael?

What part of "sequestered" didn't he understand? (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219449)

"Sequestered" means you don't read about the case AND you don't TALK about the case. Period.

What a loser.

Re:What part of "sequestered" didn't he understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27221345)

"Sequestered" means you don't read about the case AND you don't TALK about the case. Period.

What, is this fight club?

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219763)

As has been noted elsewhere, jurors are free to say whatever they like after a trial is over. The only issue here is whether or not he made those comments during the trial or after it.

If made before a decision was reached, then the defense may have a case, otherwise they don't.

This is really just a case of the defense grasping at straws. Once the judge sees exactly when the posts were made this should be over.

Re:It's the Juror's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27220481)

the juror's a twit and should be jailed.

It's like notetaking? (1)

crescente (1334029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218181)

If he got feedback, that's obviously wrong, it would seem. But let's suppose it can be proven he didn't discuss, only post, i.e. he's sending out information, not receiving it. Then couldn't it be treated as if he was jotting down notes, or writing in a journal? IANAL, but I think there are regulations for when / if you are allowed to journal / take notes. He could just be trying to clear his thoughts by writing them down.

Re:It's like notetaking? (2, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218245)

I don't think this is analgous to taking notes in a journal, so much as taking notes on the 3rd floor mens' room stall door.

Re:It's like notetaking? (2, Funny)

Odin's Raven (145278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219979)

I don't think this is analgous to taking notes in a journal, so much as taking notes on the 3rd floor mens' room stall door.

And let me tell ya, you definitely can't believe everything written on the 3rd floor mens' room stall door. (Oh, and Carl - if you still read /., I'm like so sorry about ...well... you know. I just kinda got the impression you were totally into it.)

Re:It's like notetaking? (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218251)

The lawyers of the defendant are claiming that he was showboating his power, something that's impossible to do with a pad of paper.

Re:It's like notetaking? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219451)

You are obviously used to small paper. Allow me be the first to recommend big paper (now in even bigger sizes).

Re:It's like notetaking? (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218321)

If he didn't post anything prior to the verdict, it's a tempest in a teapot. Jurors can say whatever the eff they want once they are out of the courtroom. How many times have big news shows had interviews with jurors that have started along the lines of "And how far into the the trial did you decide that the defendant needed to fry?" In that he's lucky he's in the US, as he's still get his ass handed to him in other countries.

If he posted anything during the trial proper, then I imagine it's not going to matter whether he got feedback or not. He's going to get his ass handed to him. The judge isn't going to care about the technicalities, it'll be pure contempt of court.

Re:It's like notetaking? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220531)

"And how far into the the trial did you decide that the defendant needed to fry?"

The only proper answer to that is, "Once I was in the jury room, deliberating." The jury is not supposed to make up their mind completely until the trial is over, no matter how damning the evidence appears, because you never know what's going to be revealed, or what arguments are going to be made during closing.

Re:It's like notetaking? (2, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218575)

If what you mean is that he could have decided that verdict X might make a good book deal, and secretly committed himself to giving verdict X, but didn't say anything until afterwards than I agree 100%.

Re:It's like notetaking? (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220515)

I think there are regulations for when / if you are allowed to journal / take notes.

There are. You're given a notebook (and extras, if you need them) to take all the notes you want/need. Every juror sits in the same seat, every day, and those notebooks never leave the courtroom until the jury goes to deliberate, at which time the jury takes their notes with them. Those are the only notes you're supposed to take.

IANAL, but I have been a juror.

Re:It's like notetaking? (2, Funny)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27221183)

I swear to god, if IANALBIHBAJ becomes a new internet slang, it will be the greatest day ever.

Tweets == Internet crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218257)

I predict new attack - TOS - Tweetter Overloading Service. Tosses.

PR... *amazing* PR... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218291)

Who does PR for Twitter? Is a person / third party? Someone deserves a gold medal in that department. Maybe several... I'm astounded by the amount of press it gets. Perhaps it's just the cute name.

Look, I understand the novelty of microblogging, and I'm intrigued by Tweet Grid (et al.), but not since the Segway have I seen such a tsunami of PR for something that, from 50000 feet, often looks merely incremental.

Slashdot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218307)

Powell says he only posted messages and did not read any replies.

Sounds like your average day on slashdot.

Guh. (3, Insightful)

Monkey Angst (577685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218309)

What part of "don't discuss this case with anyone until it's over" does this idiot not understand? Did he think his Twitter followers didn't count?

God, it really seems that as we've adopted more and more ways to communicate, we've completely forgotten how to do it properly, and etiquette hasn't kept pace. When I was a kid we had corded phones. No real chance of taking one into the bathroom with you, so there never needed to be a rule against talking on the phone while taking a crap. But if you asked anyone whether it would be acceptable were it technologically possible, they'd probably have reacted with disgust. But today? I see and hear people on their phones in the restroom all the damn time.

So maybe it's the judge's fault for not realizing what mouth-breathers people can be, and explicitly forbidding tweeting, blogging, etc? I dunno.

Re:Guh. (1)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218355)

But today? I see and hear people on their phones in the restroom all the damn time.

See?

Umm, I'm not sure I should take etiquette lessons from you :)

Re:Guh. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218597)

But today? I see and hear people on their phones in the restroom all the damn time.

See?

Umm, I'm not sure I should take etiquette lessons from you :)

You mean you've never gone to the men's room, only to find an upper level executive with one hand on the urinal, the other with the cellphone against his ear while he.... .... wait just a second here. There's only ONE type of person who would never SEE someone in a restroom while in use....

A WOMAN!!! OMG I FOUND A REAL FEMALE ON /.!!!!

But, ya, it's kind of gross.

Re:Guh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218719)

I see and hear people on their phones in the restroom all the damn time.

This isn't a problem! Take the opportunity to inject your bodily functions as noisily as possible into other peoples lives to let them know how you feel (and smell!). Here in Ohio we've had a ban on smoking in restaurants for a couple years now, which is a real shame because I haven't recently had the opportunity to walk up to a smokers table, plant my ass on the edge and cut a big one and then say "Don't be disgusted, it doesn't smell half as bad as what you're doing, and its much healthier!"

Re:Guh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218835)

God, it really seems that as we've adopted more and more ways to communicate, we've completely forgotten how to do it properly, and etiquette hasn't kept pace.

I'd argue that it's technology that's finally starting to catch up and keep pace with our lack of etiquette. I'd love to get up out of my seat when a date either comes to a table or gets out of her chair, but to most people these days that'd seem utterly bizarre. Given that I'm 31, I don't have a clear perspective on when the loss of etiquette became so pervasive, but my guess is that it started well before the FCC and networks loosened up what words can be used on air and is probably about in line with later baby boomers being parents.

The reason why this matters to me is that etiquette and manners are a bridge to empathy, responsibility, and consideration. I don't cringe at a five year saying 'fuck' in public because of the word itself (I'd actually find that funny), but because the odds are high that his parents are going to be casual about most everything and that the kid is going to grow up to be an inconsiderate douche.

Re:Guh. (2, Informative)

nobodyknowsimageek (218815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218935)

What part of "He insists he didn't say anything until after the verdict" don't you understand?

And this is explicitly mentioned in the summary, you don't even have to RTFA to see it. Do you just read the first line of all your email before you respond.

Now who is the idiot?

Re:Guh. (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219215)

What part of "He insists he didn't say anything until after the verdict" don't you understand?

And this is explicitly mentioned in the summary, you don't even have to RTFA to see it.

Let's see:

Powell insists (and the evidence appears to back him up) that he did not make any pertinent updates until after the verdict was given;

Someone doing something wrong and claiming they didn't... THAT"s new ;)

Thing is, if you did RTFAs and 'tweets' you'd know that in spite of what he [and the summary] /said/ he did, he did make posts during breaks before the verdict was rendered. Seems to me that the question is not whether or not he did it (in spite of his denials), but how relevant the posts actually were .

Now who is the idiot?

Heh.

I did RTFAs. It doesn't say what you say it says. (3, Insightful)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27221371)

Thing is, if you did RTFAs and 'tweets' you'd know that in spite of what he [and the summary] /said/ he did, he did make posts during breaks before the verdict was rendered. Seems to me that the question is not whether or not he did it (in spite of his denials), but how relevant the posts actually were .

How do you figure this? I read both articles and dug back to his twitter stream. Maybe you're confused because the ars article gives times in a different timezone than his twitter stream. Though it took me all of ten seconds to figure out and verify that.

Nothing I can find says he made any posts like what you are implying. There's one post between him being selected and after the verdict. It's about french fries. I fail to see the evidence you seem to be trying to make people believe is there to bolster your case. Just admit the OP was probably wrong and move on.

Re:Guh. (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219551)

What part of "don't discuss this case with anyone until it's over" does this idiot not understand?

From the fucking summary: Powell insists (and the evidence appears to back him up) that he did not make any pertinent updates until after the verdict was given;

What part of that don't YOU understand?

Re:Guh. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220589)

So maybe it's the judge's fault for not realizing what mouth-breathers people can be, and explicitly forbidding tweeting, blogging, etc? I dunno.

The judge doesn't ever say whatever he or she wants during the instructions to the jury. All of them are standardized, and the judge just reads them out. In fact, during the case, the lawyers will be making requests to the judge that certain specified instructions be read, and unless the request's unreasonable or inappropriate, it will almost always be granted because judges hate leaving grounds for an appeal based on their error. I know this because I worked, once, for a software startup run by a practicing lawyer and learned about this in passing.

Spectacular (2, Insightful)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218313)

>> rather that he might have felt a need to agree to a spectacular verdict

A verdict so spectacular that 11 other people came to the same conclusion without using twitter?

Re:Spectacular (2, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218499)

So... they're arguing that the only 'competent' juror who may have fallen on their side had he not been showboating... is a Twitter user.

Interesting strategy.

Re:Spectacular (4, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219015)

rather that he might have felt a need to agree to a spectacular verdict

A verdict so spectacular that 11 other people came to the same conclusion without using twitter?

The defendant is entitled to a unanimous verdict from twelve impartial jurors, not eleven. Even if you let that requirement slide there is still the possibility that the twelfth juror unduly influenced his colleagues so he would be able to publish some spectacular posts.

Tweet, as in the sound a bird makes? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218447)

Sorry, did I miss the memo where "tweet" as something other than the sound a bird makes entered mainstream language? Ahhh, the last usage listed on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] : A micro-blog [wikipedia.org] post on the Twitter social network site. So in other words, it's another way of saying "message posting"? As in, Jurors posting about unfinished trial could cause mistrial?

Anyone else annoyed by the twitter fad? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218483)

The fact that politicians and media elite now use twitter doesn't make it good. It makes it even more annoying.

Turn down Fox News! (0, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218541)

"media elite"

That's a phrase that's only used by right wing wacko "news" organizations. It's meaningless and inflammatory at the same time. You maybe should be embarrassed for using it.

Re:Anyone else annoyed by the twitter fad? (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218745)

The fact that politicians and media elite now use twitter doesn't make it good. It makes it even more annoying.

It does make it more annoying in the short term. The really good news is that it's also the sign of the beginning of the end of the fad. Vacuous sites like Twitter are flash-in-the-pan. There's no real substance, nor purpose, nor income. The only reason people use them is peer pressure and fashion.

The one sure-fire way of making something deeply uncool is to let a politician use it. Thus, hopefully, Twitter will be as dead as Myspace is in less that 18 months max. The sooner the better.

I could care less about the service, because in the real world it simply doesn't exist for me -- and never will. I don't use it, and I know no-one who does. It is just extremely annoying to people whining on about it everywhere online, like it's something important.

I'd really love to meet the owners of the Twitter site, just to have the chance to punch them in the face for being the most obnoxious sock-puppeteers this planet has ever seen.

Re:Anyone else annoyed by the twitter fad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27219005)

If you could care less, you should.

Twitter is here to stay and it is good. I didn't like it until I saw what could and is being done with the service. I'd like to see a competitor and Facebook may offer it.

If you wanted to communicate to a group of people, such as a neighborhood watch team, you could easily do it using twitter.

One account holder can put out the APB/tweet that "black burglary suspect seen leaving garage on 13th street, jeans and brown jacket" that hits each cell phone in the neighborhood. Instant communication to a directed source and whammo! Badguy arrested by the citizen force.

Another example : a reporter or politician says "meet on the steps of the Capital ASAP - Democracy is at stake. Bring a gun".

Re:Anyone else annoyed by the twitter fad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27220349)

With MySpace.com still being a top-5 traffic site in the US and top-10 in the world (source: Alexa), I'm sure the Twitter crew hopes they fail that hard too and end up that "dead", too.

Re:Anyone else annoyed by the twitter fad? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219113)

The fact that politicians and media elite now use twitter doesn't make it good. It makes it even more annoying.

I hate to be paraphrasing Garry Trudeau (one of his characters anyway); but I do think Twitter is basically just a giant time suck that everyone who has any semblance of a life will quickly get over in the near future.

As more and more of the sheer idiocy and/or inanity being posted by your average tweeter comes to light, normal people will start to move on.

It depends (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218755)

IANAL yadda yadda yadda, but I've served on 6 juries to date. And an instruction that was emphasized repeatedly by the judges in every case was "do not talk about the case outside of the jury room until the case is over". (Note: At least in my part of Indiana, jurors are allowed to discuss the case *amongst themselves* during all phases of the trial (except, obviously, when court is in active session), provided they do not attempt to come to a verdict before the official deliberation phase of the trial, and *all* members of the jury must be at least listening to any discussion, even if not actively participating.)

If this guy twittered after the trial was over and the verdict had been delivered, then I see no problems. But if he was broadcasting before the verdict was handed down by the judge, then I think there are indeed grounds for a mistrial...and Mr. Bigmouth Juror should get a few days in jail himself to think about his actions.

And were you on the losing side, I'd be willing to bet each and every one of you would be fighting for a mistrial on the same grounds.

Re:It depends (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27218887)

That's the nice thing here: there's no need to wonder, no need for conjecture, just compare the timestamps on his posts to the time the verdict was delivered based on the court record.

And if the timestamps show the entries were after the verdict was handed down, I think Stoam Holdings' attorneys should get hit with Rule 11 sanctions as an object lesson.

Verdict 3:45pm, Tweet 4:09pm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27218839)

Source: http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/03/jurors-twitter-posts-cited-in-motion-for-mistrial.ars

almost happened in PA Senator corruption trial (3, Informative)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219089)

This trial has been going on for a while in PA. The Twitter/Facebook story hit on Sunday, but today (Monday) he was found guilty on 137 counts and they did not replace that juror. I am guessing that will be among the things his lawyers put in his appeal? Something about it being unfair. 137 counts of corruption and i bet they cray about something posted on facebook. http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=6711443 [go.com]

another case (1)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219519)

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2009/03/fumo_jurors_online_discussion.html [pennlive.com]

In PA. Big time corruption trial of a state legislator.

The motion should have been resolved by now, but I'm not sure what happened. The verdict (guilty) came down today. If the juror wasn't removed, it's very possible that an appeal could argue this very issue. Fumo's attorney has already said he is going to appeal.

Contempt of court? (1)

PipingSnail (1112161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219525)

Surely if you comment (in public) or discuss (in public or private, except with other jurors) about a trial for which you are a juror, that is contempt of court? Well, in the UK, not sure if you have the same concept in the US.

Only posted (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27219875)

"Did not read any replies"

He's guilty.
Observe: I post comments on my blog.
I do not read replies.
My web traffic goes up after each comment, some influencing it more than others.
The prosecution insinuating bias doesn't have to prove that I read a single comment. If the traffic to my blog was affected by what I posted (impossible to disprove, or even to question!) then the nature of what I post is NOT UNBIASED.

Thank you, thank you. Use this wherever you see fit, the comments are public domain.

Jesus H. Christ..... (2, Interesting)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27220967)

How can people be so fucking stupid?!

What on Earth could make somebody flagrantly disregard instructions and risk jail time just so they could blog on Twitter to all their friends? Why not wait until AFTER the trial? So you were a juror sitting on a trial..... WHO THE FUCK CARES?! WE'VE ALL DONE BEEN THERE!

The judge ought to have beat the idiot to death with his gavel. It would have been a good example of 'Public Service'.

Tweet tweet -- Tweet tweet --- naughty naughty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27221567)

Looks like Pinus Chaney, FMR Vice, as in Pres., is making the rounds, post Godum.

Pinus, "Dick" by his gay friends in the State Department, and "Richard" by birth, seeks further to dilude the people of "his" true intentions, in this, Post-Bush era that unfolds.

Pinus, Oh Pinus, Where for Out Thou.

Doth sissors snap thy head?

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