Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Social Sites becoming Databases for Prosecutors

Posted by rjbiii on July 20, 2008

An AP article discusses a case in which photos of a party posted on Facebook ended up haunting the defendant in a drunken-driving case:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two weeks after Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunken driving crash that seriously injured a woman, the 20-year-old college junior attended a Halloween party dressed as a prisoner. Pictures from the party showed him in a black-and-white striped shirt and an orange jumpsuit labeled “Jail Bird.”

In the age of the Internet, it might not be hard to guess what happened to those pictures: Someone posted them on the social networking site Facebook. And that offered remarkable evidence for Jay Sullivan, the prosecutor handling Lipton’s drunken-driving case.

Sullivan used the pictures to paint Lipton as an unrepentant partier who lived it up while his victim recovered in the hospital. A judge agreed, calling the pictures depraved when sentencing Lipton to two years in prison.

The Judge on the case said that the photos did affect his decisions with respect to the sentence he passed down.

Post Process has previously taken notice of the trend in this post. One thing to note, the defendant himself didn’t publish these photos…another party-goer did.

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