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Will Facebook Comment Derail Jury Deliberations in Philly Federal Corruption Case?

facebook1This was bound to happen. Some folks on Facebook want to announce their every burp and scratch. But in this case, the ramblings of one Facebook member could be costly. As the Facebook message says “STAY TUNED…”

By KITTY CAPARELLA
Philadelphia Daily News
PHILADELPHIA — “STAY TUNED for a big announcement on Monday everyone!”

So wrote a blogging juror who’s been deliberating for five days in the public corruption trial of former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, in a comment posted Friday on his Facebook Internet profile.

The posting by Juror No. 5 – Eric Wuest of suburban College-ville – raised questions:

Is a verdict imminent? Did Wuest have third-party discussions about the trial as a result of his postings on Facebook and Twitter social networking Internet accounts during the 15-week trial and the ensuing deliberations?

Last night, Fumo defense attorneys NiaLena Caravasos and Peter Goldberger filed an emergency motion seeking an immediate suspension of deliberations so the judge could conduct “a delicate, but probing inquiry” of the juror Wuest’s actions.

“Depending on the results, the lawyers wrote, “one or more jurors ought to be removed and possibly replaced.”

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