When you're in a jury pool, everything becomes that little bit more exciting.
You're at the center of the action. You might have someone's future in your very hands. And one of the defendants might be entirely gorgeous.
I am not suggesting that this was the view of Jacob Jock, a Web designer and juror in Sarasota, Fla. But, at first glance, why else would he have have sent one lady defendant a Facebook friend request?
The fascinating tale told by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune offers that Jock was removed from the jury after sending that friend request.
It seems, though, that Jock might not have found jury duty exciting. He had reportedly already been posting to his Facebook page that it was actually a little on the tedious side. Even more touchingly, his friends were reportedly offering him advice on that very same Facebook page on how to get himself removed from the jury.
Still, what appears to be fact is that Jock tried to friend Victoria Milerman, a defendant in a personal injury civil case.
Jock explained that this had nothing to do with her pulchritudinous nature. Instead, he told the Herald-Tribune: "I accidentally friend requested her. I didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't think I would get picked for the jury."
Accidents do happen. This was, after all, a personal injury case after a traffic accident. However, is it really all that easy to accidentally Facebook friend someone? At least when one is (presumably) sober?
There is reportedly evidence that Jock sent the request 20 minutes after the whole jury pool was told by the judge not to contact anyone.
Still, Jock was removed and then--who could be surprised?--reportedly took to Facebook again.
"Score...I got dismissed!! apparently they frown upon sending a friend request to the defendant...haha," he reportedly offered to his Facebook friends. (One assumes that Milerman hadn't actually accepted his friend request, so she might have been unaware of his glee.)
This isn't the first virtual contact between a juror and a defendant. Last June in the U.K., a lady juror was found to be in contempt of court after she had a Facebook chat with one of the defendants.
August in Texas also saw a juror given community service for trying to Facebook friend a defendant.
Some might well be wondering, though, whether Jock had deliberately tried to friend Milerman in order to be excused from his civic duties. Some might be moved to such musing by the number of middle-finger upright poses that Jock offers on his Facebook page.
Might some, on hearing this story, be tempted to friend defendants in order to get out of jury duty? Might the courts become wise to this very quickly?