Does Defense Counsel Have a Duty to Inquire About Facebook Connections?


The Kentucky Supreme Court announced a decision in yet another case involving jury selection and the Facebook connections of jurors. Our avid readers will recall our discussion here about a homicide case reversed last fall when jurors failed to disclose their having “friended” the victim’s mother on Facebook. This time, in Jeffrey McGaha v. Commonwealth, the Court was not forgiving to the Defendant. McGaha’s murder conviction was affirmed, despite his complaint of having discovered, after trial, that one of the jurors who actually sat on his case was Facebook  friends with— once again!— the victim’s mother.  This time, it appears that defense counsel had received enough general truthful answers from the juror about having some relationship to the victim’s mother, that it was incumbent upon him or her to make the specific inquiry about Facebook.  Because counsel did not, conviction affirmed on this point. Editorial: I guess lawyers should be reading our blog and case updates, and would then know to ask that question, right? I’m sure that’s what was intended here.