Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 25

room. 8 The threat of unauthorized juror communication is not a new phenomenon. However, instantaneous Internet communication has complicated the issue even further. 9 Juror interaction with the public creates a fear that third parties will influence a juror, who will, in turn, fail to weigh the evidence admitted at trial and consequently, not form his or her own opinion of it. III. TYPES OF JUROR MISCONDUCT A. Posting Information on Social Media Although seemingly harmless, a juror’s tweet or post can have devastating effects on the outcome of a trial and wreak havoc on the integrity of the judicial process. Internet postings invite comments, thus allowing for the possibility that the response will effect decisions made. “A juror who comments about a case on the Internet or social media may engender responses that include extraneous information about the case, or attempts to exercise persuasion and influence.” 10 “A Jurors’ social media communications…. risk “chill[ing] robust discussion” in the jury room. If members of a jury become aware that one of their own is publicly communicating about the trial, those jurors may question the secrecy of the deliberative process and the protections afforded their discussions.” 11 They, in turn, may curb their comments for fear of them being broadcast to the world. In addition to causing uneasiness in jurors, the use of social media by jurors to discuss the details of their service could also cause the public to question the capacity of the modern jury system to achieve justice. 12 A new trial was granted in Dimas-Martinez v. State 13 after a defendant was convicted of murder. At the conclusion of the State’s rebuttal, a juror tweeted, “Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken. We each define the great line.” 14 The appellant argued that this action was a flagrant violation of the court's instruction against tweeting and demonstrated that the juror could not follow the court’s instructions. 15 The court disagreed, however, ruling that the tweeting was not a material breach of the instruction or the juror’s oath. Thus, the court refused to strike Juror 8 Ralph Artigliere, Jim Barton and Bill Hahn, Reining in Juror Misconduct Practical Suggestions for Judges and Attorneys, 84 FLA. BJ 9, 9. (2010). 9 Zora at 581-58 ȸ()MиٔЀĸ()%ЀĴȸ()%()̵5ѥظMхєāɬԀĤ()%Ѐظ()%(