Kentucky Supreme Court: Facebook and Criminal Juries are Bad Mix

In another case of first impression– and broad interest– the Kentucky Supreme Court today reversed a conviction because of jurors’ potentially accessing Facebook pages of the victim’s mother. The opinion in Ross Sluss v. Commonwealth(from Martin Circuit Court) is here /Supreme/Minutes/MNT092012.pdf. The Supreme Court found that the defendant in this vehicular homicide case should have been permitted to fully explore, at a hearing, juror misconduct stemming from evidence that two jurors had been Facebook “friends” with the victim’s mother. The problem, obviously, is that these jurors were asked questions under oath about any connection they had to the victim in this very high profile case, and apparently denied any connection.

The lesson for trial lawyers is to pose questions about Facebook during jury selection. The lesson for anyone who is a party to litigation is, know who your “friends” are, right?