As discussed here in late March, convicted fraudster Allen Stanford recently asked, unsuccessfully, for a new trial because the court "let reporters send Twitter messages from the courtroom, even while the judge and lawyers were talking outside the jury's presence, and failed to instruct jurors to stay off Twitter." Stanford's lawyers argued that these tweets are "likely to have reached a juror, since Twitter does not require active pursuit of information, but rather, if a friend of the juror's was following the 'Stanford trial,' the tweets might automatically show up on a juror's Twitter account." Stanford's motion was promptly denied, but perhaps it would have been more persuasive if Stanford had argued that the reporters' tweets prejudiced him in another way -- by being too distracting to the jury. In the high-profile trial that started this week of the man accused of killing the family of singer/actress Jennifer Hudson, the court has barred reporters from tweeting or posting messages to Facebook from inside the courtroom. The Associated Press reports that according to a court spokesman, the judge "didn't want constant typing on cell phones to distract jurors and other courtroom participants." The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported...

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