Twitter gets a convicted man off Death Row
"Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken... We each define the great line." This is the Underoath-influenced tweet that a juror made during a case, which may result in a convicted murderer escaping death row, since the communication caused the Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
This has caused the Supreme Court judges to ask whether a juror's access to mobile phones should be restricted during trials, plus it was followed up by a word of caution from the Lord Chief Justice for England and Wales, warning about internet use ruining the integrity of trials.
Erickson Dimas-Martinez (pictured left) was convicted of murder in 2010 for shooting and robbing a teenager, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. But his lawyers were quick to object the conviction as Juror, Randy Franco, tweeted about the case despite the Judge's explicit instructions not to speak about it outside of the court. Other tweets except for the one above included: "The coffee here sucks" and "Court. Day 5. here we go again".
Regardless of the fact the tweets didn't really show anything specific to the case, it was argued that they breached the rights of Erickson. "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.
All of this has spurred The Supreme Court to call a retrial, taking the defendant off death row until a verdict is reached.