Social Media is being used everyday by the police and prosecutors as evidence in court. Up until now, Social Media and Social Networking usage has been primarily used as evidence against defendants. However, in what may be the first highly publicized defense usuage, a Brooklyn, New York teenager was able to utilize Facebook as an alibi when he was accused of a crime.
According to the The New York Times, the teenager was incorrectly identified by a victim as a robbery suspect. Fortunately, the teenager was an active Facebook user and was on Facebook at his family's home computer at the same time that the alleged crime occurred. Due to the electronic evidence from the Facebook post, prosecutors dropped the charges and the teenager was freed from Riker's Island, one of the most dangerous prisons in the country.
Some skeptics may point out that someone else may have used the teenager's account to make the post to create an alibi. And others may state that a savvy techie can figure out a way to be in two places at once. That is always the possibility in any case. However, the bottom line is that Social Media is here to stay and police, prosecutors, judges, juries, and defense attorneys need to learn how to incorporate it into the U.S. Justice System.
Copyright 2009 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.