Our Danny Jacobs was able to use Twitter to break the news of verdicts against ExxonMobil in Baltimore County Circuit Court, but tweeting was banned in Baltimore during then-Mayor Sheila Dixon’s corruption trials. And our “Judge on the Jury” columnist, retired Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, has written on the topic several times.
So, imagine my joy on reading this bit of news from the Associated Press: A judge in Connecticut has rejected a defense motion to ban courtroom tweets during a fatal home-invasion trial.
The defense team raised an interesting point, though. They claimed that, in a co-defendant’s trial, “sudden typing of tweets by reporters and spectators signaled to the jury what evidence observers believed was significant.”
In that other trial, the co-defendant was convicted and got the death penalty. Not that they’re blaming the tweets for that; just sayin’ what happened.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that a sudden burst of tweets could affect justice more than the gasps, laughter or any other response of spectators in the courtroom. Litigators? What say you?