A California judge gave a juror 10 days to turn over Facebook postings written about a gang beating trial, or face possible jail time.
The defense attorney in the case requested the release of the messages to determine if Juror Arturo Ramirez was swayed one way or the other by outside forces, according to the Associated Press.
The trial was for five alleged gang members who were convicted last year in the beating of a man at a gas station. They have not been sentenced yet, as their attorneys have demanded the courts wait until it’s decided whether Ramirez’s Facebook postings had any influence on his verdict.
The defense lawyer was tipped off by another juror that Ramirez was discussing the trial on his Facebook page while the trial was underway, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Ramirez allegedly wrote in one post that the evidence was “boring,” and in another he revealed he was on a juror for the case, according to the Press.
Now Ramirez has a lawyer of his own, who said that there is no reason the posts should be turned over. “We’re putting a burden on jurors that’s going to make them not want to serve on jury duty. The entire system collapses without people wanting to serve on jury duty,” he said, according to the Bee.
Facebook allegedly said the company can’t be forced to show the postings if Ramierez doesn’t approve it because social media is “precluded by federal computer privacy law.”
Do you think Facebook, by law, should be forced to turn over Ramirez’s private posts and messages? Do you think the juror is wrong for writing his postings in the first place?