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Facebook Posts Mined For Courtroom Evidence 191

littlekorea writes "Defense lawyers are increasingly gaining permission from US courts to mine the private comments and postings on Facebook accounts to be used as evidence during trials. The first example — noted in Slashdot in September — has given way to an avalanche of new cases — and a worrying precedent that judges consider social networking content to be public data."
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Facebook Posts Mined For Courtroom Evidence

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  • by kronosopher ( 1531873 ) <> on Friday January 28, 2011 @10:00AM (#35031282) Homepage

    About a year ago I lived in an two-bedroom apartment with two other people. My first roommate let the second move in the downstairs living room without consulting me. Eventually I agreed under the condition that the new roommate would pay us $300/mo, of which I'd receive $150. The new roommate turned out to be a total degenerate psychopath, who routinely stole from us and never paid his rent. He was also disposed to episodes of violence, rationalizing his behavior as a type of entertainment at our expense. After about 6 months and a sequence of increasingly severe incidents, I eventually drove him out.

    Both my original roommate and I decided from there that we would keep as far away from him as possible, despite having a number of mutual friends. As much as it would have been utter ecstasy to see him in jail, we came to the conclusion that he would eventually destroy himself without our help and left it at that.

    Ever since then, said individual has posted numerous messages on Facebook explicitly threatening to murder us. This culminated in a particularly threatening message last week where he stated something to the affect of "we better watch out, he's coming for us." Both myself and my former roommate have decided that despite our desire to remove ourselves from the situation, we cannot ignore it any longer and have contacted a lawyer. Our lawyer has arranged a preliminary hearing next week where we and a number of friends will testify as character witnesses and using his Facebook posts as evidence hopefully can convince a judge to incarcerate him.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend