Social Media

In November 2007, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia reversed the conviction of Danny Cecil for felony sexual abuse of two teenage girls. Two members of the jury had looked up the Myspace profile of one of the alleged victims, and shared its contents with other jurors. Even though it found that the online sleuthing had not necessarily revealed anything relevant, the court held that “the mere fact that members of a jury in a serious felony case conducted any extrajudicial investigation on their own is gross juror misconduct which simply cannot be permitted.” As the court further noted, “Any challenge to the lack of the impartiality of a jury assaults the very heart of due process.”

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