We the Jury: Jurors’ Knowledge of Social Media Posts Concerning Potential Riots Results in New Trial

At Lee Christensen’s trial, several jurors reviewed Facebook posts discussing threats of riots and retaliation against jurors if they did not find the defendant guilty. The Iowa Court of Appeals (Iowa v. Christensen) concluded that the extraneous information introduced into the jury room was calculated to – and with reasonable probability did – influence the jury verdict. Thus, the trial court abused its discretion in denying Christensen’s new trial motion.