US trial verdicts under threat from Twitter and Facebook

Verdicts in a number of US trials have been called into question after jurors posted comments regarding the cases on Facebook and Twitter.

According to the BBC, a number of defence lawyers across the pond are hoping that juror's status updates on social networking sites can be used as grounds to appeal against verdicts.

On paper, jurors are forbidden from discussing anything relating to the case that they are involved in outside of the court house, but the emergence of new forms of technology appears to have compromised that rule.

An example of the problem is a case in Arkansas in which a judge ordered a building supplies company to pay £9m to investors. The verdict, however, has been appealed on the grounds that one of the jurors commented on the case via Twitter! At least we can sleep easy in our beds knowing that lawyers won't be hit hard by the credit crunch.

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