With the proliferation of social media use, courts are having a harder time keeping jurors from making public postings about trials in which they’re currently involved. The latest example of this comes from the U.K., where a suspended juror now faces contempt of court charges.
According to The Guardian, a juror in the case of a now-convicted sex-offender will face prosecution at the hands of the Attorney General for “an act likely to interfere with the due administration of justice.”
In December of 2012, Kasim Davey was dismissed from the trial of Adam Kephalas in the Wood Green crown court of London. He was let go after making a Facebook post in which he claimed that the trial was giving him the chance to do something he’d always wanted to do: “Fuck up a paedophile.”
“Woooow I wasn’t expecting to be in a jury Deciding a paedophile’s fate, I’ve always wanted to Fuck up a paedophile & now I’m within the law!” he posted.
Although he initially denied ever posting the status, Davey was removed. Kephalas was eventually convicted and given a suspended year-long prison sentence. Today, the Attorney General was given the go ahead to prosecute Davey.
Keeping jurors off of social media it an issue that transcends geography. In the U.S., we’ve seen numerous cases of Twitter-happy jurors, some even affecting the outcome of major trials. Back in December, an Arkansas man’s death row conviction was overturned essentially because one juror couldn’t keep off Twitter. The juror was found to have been tweeting during court recesses.