So, is there going to be a retrial with a new jury or is this guy now completely free because someone unrelated to the actual crime tweeted?
Retrial. You don't get let off the hook just because a juror screwed up.
has anybody asked the question:
how was this tweet, tweeter, twit or twat traced back to this guy?
did he go to the judge and say "hey judge...i twatted this last night, check it out"
You'd be amazed at how much time goes into researching/tracking the jurors when you're a litigator. Ex: U.S. v. Forde, 2011 WL 63831 (4th Cir. Jan 10, 2011).
"In a post-trial motion, Forde informed the district court that while the trial was proceeding, a friend of the husband of the jury foreperson posted on Twitter an explanation of the difference between “assume” and “presume.” Ford contended that, since the posting occurred during trial, it was possible that the jury foreperson had talked to her husband about the case, her husband then talked to his friend about the case, the friend then posted the statement on Twitter, and the foreperson saw the Twitter posting. Forde thus requested that the district court hold a hearing to investigate the potential misconduct.
" (The request was denied, but it shows you how much effort goes into teasing out jury misconduct when your case has gone south.)
This isn't double jeopardy because the ruling didn't stand. The article was very poorly written and incorrectly titled, which leads to misinterpretation. It should've been titled "Judge calls a mistrial" rather than "a conviction overturned".
Either way, I stand by my former statement: Dumb.
Yeah, my first reaction to the story was shoddy reporting, Luddite court. Figured it was worth submitting for the UO bit, though. [Also, condolences/encouragement for a fellow law-person in finals mode!]