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Texas juror sentenced for befriending defendant on Facebook

01 Sep 2011

A 22-year-old Texas juror has been sentenced to two days of community service after trying to add the defendant in the case he was hearing as a Facebook friend.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the juror, Jonathan Hudson, not only tried to befriend the defendant but also discussed the case on his Facebook page. 

He was found out when the defendant notified the court the next day. He then sent the defendant an apology message, also on Facebook. 

Specific instructions forbidding jurors from discussing their cases on Facebook were recently added to jury instructions in Texas courts, and Hudson would have received these instructions.

The defendant probably spared Hudson a much worse sentence by turning him in. In the UK in June, a juror was sentenced to eight months in prison for befriending and exchanging messages with the defendant in her case.