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A US judge has dismissed a spamming conviction after concluding that there was no "rational basis" for the jury to return a guilty verdict. Judge Thomas D. Horne said jurors must have been confused by technical evidence when they decided Jessica DeGroot, 28, had violated Virginia's new anti-spam law, AP reports.

But the Judge upheld a conviction against DeGroot's brother, Jeremy Jaynes, 30, who was convicted in November 2004 of masterminding a June 2003 spamming blitz against AOL users. A third defendant, Richard Rutkowski, was acquitted. The jury asked for Jaynes to be jailed for nine years and DeGroot fined $7,500 after what prosecutors described as the US's first felony spamming conviction though Howard Carmack (AKA the Buffalo spammer) might beg to differ. Carmack was jailed for seven years in May after his March 2004 conviction for spamming-related offences (forgery, identity theft and falsifying business records). ®

Related stories

Sibling spammers convicted
Spam punishment doesn't fit the crime
US ISP wins $1bn damages from spammers

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