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Trayvon Martin, Lawyers and Social Media

Science & Tech  (tags: computers, social media, law, information, legal case, Trayvon Martin case, George Zimmerman, research, discovery )

- 2014 days ago -
The high-profile Trayvon Martin murder case is pushing the limits of social media in our legal system, and how this issue is addressed will have an impact beyond the Miami courtroom.

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jan b (5)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 9:29 am
I believe Florida already accepted that the "stand your ground law" should prevail. Many cases already have been based on this law and the victims got no justice.
I'm careful not to anger my neighbor who owns a gun. Cause if he has no witnesses he can say I was a threat and that means curtains for me. !!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 11:12 am
This isn't about the Trayvon Martin case per se, as much as it is about the strange new world of social media, and its present - and future! - impact on Law Enforcement. The lack of privacy, and who in legal matters can access your info whether you like it or not...
As we have just seen, even the Head of the CIA {Gen. Petraeus} has fallen because of his supposedly "private" info being not-so-private! {Poetic Justice?}

"What's Really Happening:
The defense team's decision to use social media to help build its case mirrors how police, insurance companies and others check out these sites in their own work. Postings on Facebook can come back to haunt you since they offer ways to piece together a profile of you, which many are doing with increasing frequency.

Law enforcement's newly created social media units can access to Facebook histories, pushing boundaries of privacy and giving them a wealth of information, even on users who aren't the focus of a case.

You don't need to be a suspect in a crime to be vulnerable to law enforcement snooping. If a Facebook user interacts with someone who becomes a suspect in a crime, that user's name will show up in a subpoenaed history.

Also, prosecutors and defense attorneys scour Facebook and Twitter to see potential jurors' media habits, interests, hobbies and religious affiliation, fleshing out information that can be more useful than what they can get from standard questionnaires.

Incredibly, a recent survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed 80 percent of divorce cases included social media posts as evidence in the past five years, and judges often order divorcing couples to share their Facebook and other online account passwords as they navigate family court.

Social media is not only useful in family and criminal litigation, but can influence personal injury, workers' compensation, product liability, commercial litigation and employment cases. In these instances, lawyers and investigators make it a habit to dig up Facebook photos of people claiming to have a back injury dancing atop bars or participating in physical activities their reported injuries would prohibit.

What's Next:
Lawyers, investigators and others who mine social data are learning as much as they can about how to best use these digital tools to help their clients and themselves."

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 2:29 pm
Noted & thanks for posting, Nancy. Interesting....Sometime back, there was an article here on Care2 listing around 100 or so words that "gov't intelligence" targeted in people's e.mails, comments....we had such fun with that list here....

Veronica C (22)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 8:33 pm
From a social media standpoint, I don't exist. And I'm going to keep it that way.

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Wednesday November 21, 2012, 8:38 am
We should be warned not to post personnal information on any social media. Never know when it will come back and bite us.
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