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Prosecutors Using MySpace

Lawyers aren't just using social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace for marketing and building business relationships, as noted in this earlier post. Rather, as Skelly Wright posts at Arbitrary and Capricious, lawyers for the prosecution are using photos and statements posted at defendants' personal Internet pages as evidence against them, while judges are taking such information into account at the sentencing stage. 

The full story comes from this article in the Arizona Daily Star (9/16/07), which provides some examples of how personal Internet information has been used in criminal cases:

Last week in Pima County Superior Court, prosecutor Jonathan Mosher used pictures found on a MySpace account against a robbery suspect. And on Monday, prosecutor Mark Diebolt is to ask Judge Stephen Villarreal for permission to tell jurors that a witness in a murder case picked Vladimir Soza as the bad guy after looking at a photo posted on MySpace.

Are materials from sites like MySpace or Facebook admissible in court? That's a question that defense attorneys expect to confront in the future. In the meantime, those who frequent social networking sites are well advised not to post information that could portray you negatively in court.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 17, 2007 at 06:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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