Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of the Travis County District Court employed an unusual practice during the Alex Jones defamation trial: She allowed the jury to ask written questions of all witnesses.
This is part of a movement among trial lawyers and judges to keep juries engaged and prevent them from doing their own research on the internet, which could prejudice them.
The questions jurors have asked during the trial have been revealing.
After Mr. Jones cast jurors on his broadcast as ignorant “blue-collar” people handpicked by his political enemies, they asked for his definition of “blue collar” and whether he’s aware that they are “16 intelligent, fair-minded people.”
On Friday, Bernard Pettingill Jr., a forensic economist, was asked several questions by jurors, including if he had ever watched a complete Infowars show; if he had compared the revenue of Infowars before and after the show was forced off social media; if he could explain the definition of a liquidated asset and the difference between the net worth of Mr. Jones and Infowars; and how common it is for business executives to give themselves loans.
The judge didn’t allow some of the questions, including whether Mr. Pettingill had ever watched Infowars. But she did allow Mr. Pettingill to answer that the show’s revenues did not suffer after he was removed from social media.
Jurors have asked some provocative questions of other witnesses, too. One even asked Becca Lewis, an internet communications expert who testified about Mr. Jones’s online reach, whether she could swear before the jury that she is not a “lizard person.” Mr. Jones has in the past echoed British conspiracy theorist David Icke’s assertion that lizard people control the world, dressed in the flesh of recognizable political leaders.