Texas Juror Learns the Hard Way Not to Friend Defendant on Facebook

Who says criminals are the only ones who lack common sense? How about a dumb juror.

Jonathan Hudson learned the hard way that social media and jury duty don¹t exactly mix. While serving on a jury in Fort Worth, Texas, in July, Hudson discussed the case on his Facebook wall and then attempted to friend the defendant after the case dismissed for the day. Really smart.

Thankfully, the defendant reported Hudson to her attorney, who then informed the judge the next day. Shockingly, the judge dismissed the 22-year-old Hudson and the trial continued with the other 11 jurors.

But Hudson didn't stop there, sending the defendant a message after he was dismissed saying he was sorry and that he believed she was someone else. Sure.

"I pretty much just said I was selected to be on a jury," his Facebook message to her read, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm pretty upset over this and I'm sure you guys are too. I guess you know what it feels like to be prosecuted too. Good luck with everything."

Hudson's attorney said he was remorseful.

"He seemed to be a very nice kid who just made a silly mistake," Steve Gordon said. "It is a reflection of the times. Most everyone has smartphones now. They can hop on at almost anytime. And there's a lot of down time in jury duty, so what most people do is hop on their phone. But the rules are there for a reason."

Hudson pleaded guilty to four counts of contempt of court this week and was sentenced to two days of community service. The jury bailiff will assign him chores to complete.

Here's hoping he leaves his phone at home during his days of service.

Posted by Brent Dirks on Aug 31, 2011

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