Skip to main content

Death row inmate gets second trial due to Twitter-obsessed juror

jury box
Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to a story posted by the Associated Press earlier today, the murder conviction of death row inmate Erickson Dimas-Martinez was tossed out by the Arkansas Supreme Court because juror number 2 Randy Franco posted several public Twitter updates during the trial. In addition, another juror was sleeping at the trial. Dimas-Martinez had received the death penalty for the murder of 17-year-old Derrick Jefferson as well as life in prison for aggravated robbery. As with all trials, jurors in the Dimas-Martinez trial were ordered not to communicate with anyone about the case or post any information about the trial on the Internet. 

twitter-iphoneIn a tweet referencing the trial, Franco wrote  “Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken…We each define the great line.” He also posted updates when each day of the trial started and complained about the coffee. In addition, Franco posted “It’s over” less than an hour before the jury’s verdict was read in court. According to Associate Justice Donald Corbin, Franco was warned during the trial that posting updates to Twitter was forbidden. Corbin stated “More troubling is the fact that after being questioned about whether he had tweeted during the trial, Juror 2 continued to tweet during the trial.” The Supreme Court justices of Arkansas recently asked a panel to look into restricting the use of smartphones during future trials. 

While this trial may open the door for more restrictive rules about the use of cell phones within courtrooms in Arkansas, other states are also wrestling with the same issues. Two years ago, a building materials company attempted to get a $12.6 million judgement overturned after they noticed biased tweets on a juror’s Twitter account during the trial. During August 2011, an Arlington, Texas juror pleaded guilty to contempt charges after attempting to send a Facebook friend request to the female defendant of the trial. 

Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
X seems to have deleted years of old Twitter images
The new X sign replacing the Twitter logo on the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

The social media platform formerly known as Twitter and recently rebranded as X appears to be having trouble showing images posted on the site between 2011 and 2014.

The issue came to widespread attention on Saturday when X user Tom Coates noted how the famous selfie posted by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars in 2014, which quickly broke the “most retweets” record, was no longer displaying. Later reports suggested the image had been restored, though, at the time of writing, we’re not seeing it.

Read more
X says it’s squashing the bug that deleted Twitter images and links
The new X sign replacing the Twitter logo on the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

X, formerly known as Twitter, says it’s working to restore potentially millions of images and links that suddenly and rather mysteriously disappeared from the platform in recent days.

“Over the weekend we had a bug that prevented us from displaying images from before 2014,” the company said in a post on its Support account on Monday. “No images or data were lost. We fixed the bug, and the issue will be fully resolved in the coming days.”

Read more
Snapchat hopes its new AI selfie feature will be a moneymaker
A screenshot of Snapchat's new AI-powered Dreams feature.

Snapchat Dreams

Snapchat was quick to jump aboard the AI bandwagon when it launched its “My AI” chatbot in February. And now the platform has released another feature that, like My AI, also harnesses generative AI.

Read more