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Judge Warns Jury In First Capitol Riot Trial, “Change Your Push Notifications”

Judge Warns Jury In First Capitol Riot Trial, “Change Your Push Notifications”

The first jury trial is beginning in the case of a defendant accused of a role in the attack on the Capitol Building last January, and the judge in the case is warning the jury to take even greater care in avoiding news notifications. This follows an incident earlier this month that could potentially allow an appeal in an unrelated high-profile case.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 6: Scene outside the Capitol after Trump supporters breached the building in Washington, District of Columbia on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A Reuters report a few weeks ago covered a concern regarding Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against the New York Times. The judge stated an intent to dismiss the case, due to lack of evidence. The jury was out during these comments — but multiple jurors say they got notifications on their social media or other apps that apprised them of the decision in advance. Some experts say it could open an avenue for appeal.

Now the first of the Capitol cases will be heard by a jury, and US District Judge Dabney Friedrich is already taking precautions to prevent a similar incident in this case, which has the potential to reverberate through the remaining cases.

The trial is for Guy Wesley Reffitt, who is accused of bringing a gun to the Capitol, and of later threatening his teenage children if they dared to report him.

According to NBC reporter Ryan Reilly, Judge Friedrich has warned the jury not to let push notifications affect the outcome of this trial.

Because it’s seen as a precedent-setting case, with numerous more Capitol trials expected to follow, preventing any major upsets in this trial is pretty prudent.

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