Some of the jurors who convicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon
of a misdemeanor embezzlement charge have reportedly continued to communicate on Facebook
even though a judge asked them not to talk about the case.
Five jurors who became friends on the social-networking site during the trial have been ordered to testify at a hearing Wednesday on Dixon's motion for a new trial.
Judge Dennis M. Sweeney sent the jurors a letter on Dec. 22 requesting that the five bring printouts of all their Facebook communications from Nov. 9 to Dec. 1, when Dixon's trial was under way. He said he will "make every effort" to be sure that personal messages not related to the trial are not made part of the public record.
Also, Sweeney asked them not to discuss the issue with each other or anyone else before the hearing. But WBAL-AM reports that at least three of the jurors have communicated on Facebook in the past week. They wrote with apparent sarcasm about how they "don't know" each other, and one juror used a profanity to refer to judges.
The jurors appeared to have updated their privacy settings Monday, making their Facebook pages no longer viewable by the general public.
The judge also said that some jurors might be required to testify about their responses to questions asked during jury selection. Dixon's defense attorneys pointed out that during the selection process, one juror said she did not have a criminal record despite two prior theft charges.
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