Ewing v. Horton

After a jury convicts Detroit man of gang-related murder, Juror #4 reveals that other jurors had Facebook-stalked the defendant, researched information about gangs, and discussed their findings during deliberations. State courts: No big deal; the Facebookery and Googling largely duplicated evidence presented at trial. Federal district court: Actually, this is a very big deal; the state needs to either retry the guy or set him free. Sixth Circuit: Agreed that it’s a potentially big deal, but rather than a second trial, the guy is entitled to an initial hearing on whether the jurors’ “extracurricular fact-finding” actually affected the verdict. Dissent: The district court was well within its rights to say that a new trial is the appropriate remedy.

Tags: 2019, Habeas Corpus, Remedies, Sixth Circuit

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