back to article Juror dismissed over Facebook poll

A juror in a sex abuse case was kicked off the case after using Facebook to ask her mates whether the suspect was guilty or not. The female juror was removed from the case at Burnley Crown Court on 18 November after her poke against justice was revealed, AP reports. Jurors are forbidden from talking about cases outside court …


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  1. Joe
    Thumb Down

    Ask the average facebook member...

    'ya he wel luks gillty, lock him up! lyf means lyf!

    Pass this judgement to 5 other people to reveal the secret of eternal life'


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    very stupid.....

  3. Trevor Watt

    Clearly Contempt

    The Judge should lock her up. Perhaps he could ask on Facebook how long for.

  4. Richard

    But posting on the internet isn't talking...

    ... oh wait, I see what you mean.

    Moronic _well within_ belief these days, sadly.

  5. Tom

    This is insane

    How stupid would you have to be to do something like that? The whole case could have been jeopardised because of her actions. She is lucky to avoid a contempt charge, but maybe the rest of society is unlucky, as it hasn't taught anyone else how serious this is.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can picture the scene

    Judge: "Have you reached a verdict?"

    Juror: "No, Chris, I'm really not sure, so I think I'm going to ask the audience."

    Judge: "OK. We're here playing Who Wants To Send Down A Sex Offender - audience, fingers on buzzers."

  7. Dennis

    Why isn't it a game show?

    Why don't they turn the court process into a real game show?

    The jurors could then "phone a friend" or "ask the audience". The person found guilty could select their punishment in a "Deal or no deal" process. The viewers could vote for their favourite witness in "Strictly Telling the Truth".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Give her a fair trial

    Charge her with contempt of court. Then give her a fair trial with a jury of her peers, that is, let a poll on Facebook decide if she is guilty or innocent.

  9. N1AK


    "The unnamed woman involved can consider herself fortunate not to be held in contempt of court "

    And anyone who likes the idea of Juries taking the duty seriously in future should consider this bad news. Did they check whether she spoke with the other Jurors about what her friends said? Even if she didn't she gave the defence a very real chance at having the trial collapse.

    What is just as incredible is that she "didn't know which way to go", surely you either "know" someone is guilty beyond the point of reasonable doubt or you don't.

  10. Gianni Straniero

    Effective deterrent

    The twelve individuals the Crown will select as a "jury of your peers" in the event of a criminal transgression should be more than enough to keep you on the straight and narrow.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    re: Effective deterrent

    Jury of your peers, eh? Does that mean if you're a proper crook and you hang about with loads of other criminals you could argue that the jury should be made up of such?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Trevor Watt

    Superb Idea!

    But as much as I want too vote, I still wont join!

    Definatly Contempt..

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Personally I find it incredible that you seem to think that >>surely you either "know" someone is guilty beyond the point of reasonable doubt or you don't<<. There are actually two problems in making your mind up about this: firstly, you have to reckon what the odds are of the person being guilty, bearing in mind that the court has deliberately restricted the information that you are allowed to have, and, secondly, you have to decide what odds count as "reasonable doubt", because you can be quite sure that the judge won't give you a straight answer to that question. Is 99% certainty good enough, for example?

    If you think making that kind of decision is easy, I'd rather not have you serving on a jury.

  14. Mike Holden
    Thumb Down

    Reasonable doubt?

    They don't seem to use the phrase "reasonable doubt" any more (if indeed they ever did).

    "Sure so that you are certain" is the phrase used when I served on a jury a few months ago.

    Is "reasonable doubt" just an american phrase that has transferred over here due to so much bad television being imported over the years?

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  16. Stevie Silver badge



    The operable phrase in a criminal prosecution is "reasonable doubt", not "any lingering doubt whatsoever". That is the standard that has to be met, since it is written into the law whether anyone says it in public afterward or not.

    Evidence is carefully screened in a court case because humans are emotional beings and the press is wildly irresposnsible in its allegations at times. The jury is specifically tasked with making a determination based on the evidence presented. The only real gray area is that of motive. If the case hinges on that, then the jury has a much harder time I'll grant you.

    Will you guys never get over the Reiser thing?

  17. Hollerith

    easier than thinking

    Why trouble the grey matter in your skull (that thing that holds your earphone apart) if you can let other people give you their random knee-jerk responses?

    Should we have intelligence tests for jurors??

    Q1: what is meant by 'not talking to others'? Does talking to others count?

  18. Graham Marsden

    "she didn't know which way to go"

    In which case the default position (which should have been explained to her) is if she has reasonable doubts the defendant should be PRESUMED INNOCENT!

  19. Michael Thibault

    Airhead image, please (beyond Paris)

    Ditz-dom! Too pervasive. Should be precluded from making, participating in, or contributing to any decision of any import... Unfortunately, in a jury-selection process, there are only so many challenges that one can make.

    p.s. How about conflating the Bill images, and the Steve images (it's time the halo and the horns were united), to make room for ones that convey: gob-smacking cluelessness; and, life-threatening stupidity?

    p.p.s. In fact, forget Bill entirely; he's retired. Where's the other Steve - Ballmer, I mean?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    comes close to my idea of having a political party that just wears cams, and mics, and carrys a UMC where they get their orders to vote from a public website.

    Surely, that would get in, we would know everything, have complete control of the country as a people. And not only could the members get a PMs or MPs salary, they could do other work, just as long as they voted the way the people of a democracy requested.

    Speakers sown into jackets could be quite good fun as well, really let the opposition have it.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Yes but....

    ....did the 11 member jury come to the same conclusion as her Facebook friends?

    Come on Reg.

  22. Chris C

    So many...

    How in the hell did the judge let her off with just a warning? There's no doubt about it, this is a mistrial, period. According to this article, she posted details of the case, which is illegal. She solicited external thought and opinion, which is illegal. She may have contaminated the rest of the jury members by discussing it with them. At the very least, she should be arrested and charged with contempt of court (for soliciting external thought and opinion), obstruction of justice (for knowingly and willfully violating court orders and forcing a mistrial), and waste of taxpayer money (for forcing a mistrial, thereby wasting the money consumed by the trial). To let her off with just a warning is to tell other potential jurors that violating court orders is no big deal.

  23. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    If the jurors can treat it like a game show, why not the accused?

    Accused in the dock - You're currently looking at a minimum sentence of five years. You've already got rid of 10 years and 25 years, but with three pieces of evidence yet to open, the 15 years sentence is still in play. <phone rings> The jailer has told me to offer you..... nine years. Deal - or No Deal?

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