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Submission + - Juror jailed after Facebook contact with defendant (bbc.co.uk)

Gandalf_the_Beardy writes: From the article "A juror who contacted a defendant via Facebook, causing a trial to collapse, has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court."

This is probably one of the first, and certainly the highest profile cases in the UK about the problem of jurors doing their own "research" on the case. Judges routinely admonish jurors that they must only decide on the case from what they hear in the courtroom. However they are somewhat resigned to accepting that this could be a losing game.

What makes this case special is that it caused the collapse of an ongoing trial of a fairly high profile drugs case. The juror had tracked down one of the already acquitted defendants, exchanged copious notes and then befreinded her on Facebook, which meant the trial collapsed and had to be abandoned.

With routine jury sequestration in the UK being unfeasible, and almost certainly unacceptable to most jurors, courts have only one weapon to dissuade people from such actions and Joanne Fraill was duly handed eight months, pour encourager les autres.

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