Juror sends friend request to witness

In People v. Rios, a juror sent a key witness – a firefighter – a Facebook friend request before the trial had completed.  The firefighter didn’t respond to the request and the judge determined that while the communications was “unquestionably a serious breach of her obligation as a juror” but that ultimately the juror hadn’t been swayed unduly by the witness so as to taint the verdict.

However, the problem of jurors and social networking isn’t going away and may result in a strategy that losing parties employ in attempts to overturn verdicts.

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