Earlier this year, the realms of law and new media collided when Lori Drew was hit with federal charges for creating a fake My Space page and harassing a neighboring teenager, who then committed suicide. technology, prosecutors are reportedly searching Facebook and My Space for photos of defendants to use as character evidence in sentencing hearings.
CNN reports that party photos and pictures of defendants drinking or looking unrepentant have resulted in harsher sentences for people charged in drunk driving accidents, with prosecutors presenting the incriminating pictures as evidence that the defendant lacked remorse.
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A girl charged in a fatal drunken driving crash also had photos from her My Space page downloaded by prosecutors, who used them in their pre-sentencing report.
The pictures, posted after the crash, showed her holding a beer bottle and wearing a “a belt bearing plastic shot glasses.” Her sentence was more than five years.
Given that there’s no reason prosecutors can’t or won’t mine these sites for character evidence, technology is in essence handing these defendants a noose to hang themselves with.Still, there’s the danger that a photo taken out of context can be disproportionately damning.In the 20-year-old’s case, he was remorseful enough to drop out of college and write apologies to the victim and her family.But the image of him sticking his tongue out at a party is far more likely to color a judge’s (or anyone’s) perception—a phenomenon that’s been proven by more than anecdotes.GAYELLOW PAGES Contents1TMGAYELLOW PAGES Contents INFORMING THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY SINCE 1973GAYELLOW PAGESONLINE UPDATE July 2012Please see reasons of copyright this edition no longer includes Canada Index page 697 The Index includes page number references to: Names, subject headings, subject cross references; Location references (e.g.: Bronx: see New York City Area) Publication names appear in italics Women's Section page 3 Entries for the Women's Section comprise any that have selected the or symbol; any that have chosen to pay for additional placement in this section; any others that have what the editor in her infinite wisdom considers appropriate but not exclusive female appeal.All entries in the Women's Section also appear in the main section and, when appropriate, in the Ethnic/Multicultural section.