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Juror tweets lead to overturning of murder conviction

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Dec 2011 10:01 User comments (13)

Juror tweets lead to overturning of murder conviction Arkansas Supreme Court overturns murder conviction of death row inmate.
Erickson Dimas-Martinez was convicted of murder last year for killing and robbing 17-year-old Derrick Jefferson in 2006. He received the death penalty for the crime, and was awaiting execution by lethal injection on death row.

However, Arkansas Supreme Court judges have had to overturn the conviction due to inappropriate tweeting by a juror while the trial was ongoing. Juror Randy Franco had posted several musings to Twitter during the trial. "Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken... We each define the great line," one of his tweets read.

Dimas-Martinez' lawyers had appealed against the conviction as the judge had instructed the jury not to post comments on the Internet, or discuss the case using their mobile devices in court. The judge scalded Mr Franco about his actions shortly after becoming aware of them.

"I'm waiting for the other 11 to [jurors] to help me come to a conclusion... I have not seen death in my life, like, firsthand. So the talk of death is a little uncomfortable just because it's an unknown - it's an unknown area for me," Mr Franco told the judge.

The circuit court judge then denied a motion for a new trial for Dimas-Martinez as Franco never tweeted actual specifics of the case. Defence lawyers took their case to the state Supreme Court in response, and it reversed the lower court's decision.

"Because of the very nature of Twitter as an... online social media site, Juror 2's tweets about the trial were very much public discussions," wrote Associate Justice Donald Corbin. "Even if such discussions were one-sided, it is in no way appropriate for a juror to state musings, thoughts or other information about a case in such a public fashion."

Janice Vaughn, a lawyer for Dimas-Martinez, said it is not about the rights of jurors to use, or not use social networks or other public services during a trial, but instead its about protecting the right of the person who may end up in prison or losing a significant amount of money in a civil case.

The state Supreme Court recommended a retrial in the case, though the attorney general has not decided what the next step will be for the state.

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13 user comments

111.12.2011 11:40

Idiot!!! He should get a year for contempt minimum. He was told by the judge not to be putzing with the damned phone, just like the other jurors & his dumb ass didn't get it? Nobody else in history (that will admit to it or got caught) has been recorded twitting about being a candy ass at jury duty, but Boo-Boo Cakes Franco, he has several moments to reflect?

Put him in a cell with a nice painting of a smart phone on the wall & let him pretend to twitter all his imaginary friends about the plights of sodomy because he let a murderer of children get off lightly because of his stupidity.

These lawyers will use any slimy means unknown to man to get their client out of trouble & this is yet another example of how it's done.

Our society really does need to get back to rewarding stupidity accordingly.


211.12.2011 11:56

Originally posted by LordRuss:
Idiot!!! He should get a year for contempt minimum. He was told by the judge not to be putzing with the damned phone, just like the other jurors & his dumb ass didn't get it? Nobody else in history (that will admit to it or got caught) has been recorded twitting about being a candy ass at jury duty, but Boo-Boo Cakes Franco, he has several moments to reflect?

Put him in a cell with a nice painting of a smart phone on the wall & let him pretend to twitter all his imaginary friends about the plights of sodomy because he let a murderer of children get off lightly because of his stupidity.

These lawyers will use any slimy means unknown to man to get their client out of trouble & this is yet another example of how it's done.

Our society really does need to get back to rewarding stupidity accordingly.
Not only should he get it for contempt he should have to pay for the retrial. The probably spent $250,000+ to convict this dirt bag and now need to go do it again because this dumb a$$ feels the need to share. I'm only 30 but I don't under stand all this touchy feely share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE crap.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Dec 2011 @ 11:57

311.12.2011 12:17

Originally posted by bbbob:
The probably spent $250,000+ to convict this dirt bag and now need to go do it again because this dumb a$$ feels the need to share.
Having a friend who worked in a state penitentiary & knows all the in & outs (you can take that however you wish) led me to believe that it actually costs more than your original estimation, but i still agree with you. He should stay in jail & work off the restitution of the cost of the original court costs.

Who cares what "you" feel! The court case isn't about "you"! It's about the victim & the animal being laid out before the court to be judged. AFTER everything is said & done, then you go to whatever outlet you need (priest, smartphone, bowl of puppy shit) & cry about your need of a warm fuzzy then. Till then... act like a man/woman & do your F-ing job.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Dec 2011 @ 12:18

411.12.2011 13:04

Originally posted by fashion-saler:
why 17 years old need to death penalty for the crime,can't understand the Arkansas law
Hes not 17. He is 26 and he planed this out. He met the 17 year old kid at a party hitched a ride with him then put a gun to his head and told him to drive. Then when they got were he wanted him he took his coat,shirt and money then put one bullet in his head.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Dec 2011 @ 13:05

511.12.2011 16:07

Thats what you get when you have idiot jurors on life and death cases. I think that if it's a capital offence then we need to use professional jurors. (Retired judges, lawyers and barristers)Too many idiots get picked to serve on juries. Are they picked on purpose?

611.12.2011 17:14

A retrial isn't necessary if his vote wasn't the one to tip the balance or he wasn't a key player attempting to swing jury vote one way or the other,take his vote away what is the balance now it will more than likely still be guilty


712.12.2011 3:05

He didn't receive any outside information, so there's no need for a retrial. His tweets didn't affect in any way his decision, nor that of the other jurors.

812.12.2011 11:33

I think his sentence should be commuted to just life in prison.

913.12.2011 0:14

Originally posted by patrick_:
He didn't receive any outside information, so there's no need for a retrial. His tweets didn't affect in any way his decision, nor that of the other jurors.
That's immaterial. He & 11 other jurors were explicitly told to NOT flitter, jitter, putter, faceplant, gloogle, futz putz or any other external communication with anyone other than the other jurors about the case. It's called "sequestering". For all intents & purposes, you're cut off so as to have nothing sway your decision making processes concerning the case laid before you. Boo Boo Cakes had to have several international round table "feelings" sessions, all of which concerned the case despite how far removed from the case 'you' may think they may be. OBVIOUSLY, the murderer's lawyer seems to think Boo Boo Cakes feelings are enough to get a retrial, so yeah, I think you're wrong.

Proving my point further, you weren't there to count the votes & even if you were, each vote in the jurors room is anonymous, so knowing if his was Y/N is unknown & equally uncountable of worth of weight to the final count or sway. Nor is anyone at this time privy to information (as of this article) that he was gaining information prancing around twatter either, producing another statement before the fact.

Face it, Boo Boo Cakes screwed up & has now set a new precedence for the court rooms & a new low for the stupidity watch crew. It really has come time to start shooting people & publicly humiliating the supreme shit out of people for doing asinine things. Maybe we can breed some smarts back into the human race again.

1013.12.2011 0:39

Originally posted by Azuran:
I think his sentence should be commuted to just life in prison.
apparently prisons are over full in america.besides its a waste of tax payers money to lock someone up with no chance of being let out.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1113.12.2011 22:24

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by Azuran:
I think his sentence should be commuted to just life in prison.
apparently prisons are over full in america.besides its a waste of tax payers money to lock someone up with no chance of being let out.
Prisons are overcrowded because of drug offenders, not violent criminals. And the costs to execute someone far exceed keeping them incarcerated for life.

1214.12.2011 3:27

Originally posted by Azuran:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by Azuran:
I think his sentence should be commuted to just life in prison.
apparently prisons are over full in america.besides its a waste of tax payers money to lock someone up with no chance of being let out.
Prisons are overcrowded because of drug offenders, not violent criminals. And the costs to execute someone far exceed keeping them incarcerated for life.
well in that case they need to change the method of execution.dont think a bullet is expensive or a rope.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1316.12.2011 0:55

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by Azuran:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by Azuran:
I think his sentence should be commuted to just life in prison.
apparently prisons are over full in america.besides its a waste of tax payers money to lock someone up with no chance of being let out.
Prisons are overcrowded because of drug offenders, not violent criminals. And the costs to execute someone far exceed keeping them incarcerated for life.
well in that case they need to change the method of execution.dont think a bullet is expensive or a rope.
Appeals and writ of habeas corpus petitions.

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