CRIMINAL SENTENCING: Commonwealth v. Ruzal, No. ____ (Pa. C.P. 2009).
Status: Defendant sentenced to 33 days in jail

Defendant Scott Ruzal was convicted of driving while intoxicated in a March 16, 2009 trial. Before his sentencing, the prosecutor discovered that Ruzal had been sending Twitter messages during his trial commenting on the proceedings, such as “When all else fails, try ignorance. I watched four cops lie on a witness stand today and I didn’t say a word.”

At the May 7 sentencing, the prosecutor argued that the Tweets showed disrespect for law enforcement. Ruzal apologized for the drunken driving, but not for the comments, saying,“That wasn’t anything I said out of disrespect of the court. It was just an expression of a particular sentiment that I was feeling at the time.”

The judge sentenced Ruzal to 33 days in jail.

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