California Court Considers Facebook Privacy for Juror

In recent weeks, the issue of the right to privacy has been ever-so-slightly tipping the scales against just about any other right. One of the latest cases stems from what would normally be deemed as juror misconduct.

In California, an appellate court judge is facing the challenge of balancing a defendant's right to a fair trial against a juror's right to privacy after a juror posted on Facebook that he was "bored." Defense attorneys demanded records of the juror's postings but the juror, as well as Facebook itself, refused citing a federal law that limits the release of internet records without a warrant or evidence of a crime. The order went all the way to the California Supreme Court, but that court blocked the release of the juror's records - and has required the appellate court to conduct a full review of its own decision to compel the release of the juror's Facebook messages. The appellate court recently released Facebook from having to provide the information, but the order against the juror remains in question.

Interesting note - the original case was a gang-related beating case, where the defendants were convicted. Only after the case was decided did the defense attorneys discover the information about the juror's Facebook account.

 What do you think? Should the juror be required to turn over records of his Facebook posts?

 Click here for more details about the case and the order.