Judge Rules Defense Can Use Trayvon Martin Tweets - from Slashdot

Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 in Social Media by Scott Jordan

Hm.  Wonder if this would have gone down differently if Martin were alive.

Safest to assume one's tweets, FB posts, emails, etc., are going to be opened in any matter in a court of law, and manage one's accounts accordingly.

"The NY Times reports a judge in the second-degree murder case against George Zimmerman has ruled that Trayvon Martin's school and social media records should be provided to the defense. Judge Debra S. Nelson said Martin's Twitter, Facebook and school records were relevant in the self-defense case. In those instances, showing whether a victim 'had an alleged propensity to violence' or aggression is germane, the judge said. The defense also got permission for access to the social media postings of a Miami girl who said she was on the phone with Martin just before the shooting. Time to update the Miranda warning to include: 'Anything you Tweet or post can and will be held against you in a court of law'?'"

Posted by Timothy Theodp in Slashdot


  • Patty_author
    Patricia Seybold on November 12, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.

    Wow! You're right, Scott. If they can subpoena your email, they can certainly subpoena your Facebook posts and Tweets...I wonder how many of us think about this when we tweet from the hip, so to speak.

  • warsir
    Warren Sirota on November 16, 2012 at 3:02 p.m.

    Per Patty's comment, it seems pretty clear (from many cases involving email) that very few people think about what they say and do electronically.  Shame on them.

    Think about it: the CIA chief using his email to discuss what?  And the supposedly platonic discourse of General Allen in email?  One would think people of that caliber would know better.

    I worry tremendously about the eroding nature of electronic privacy.  And there should be (IMHO) more legal constraints on government intrusion, but perhaps the larger issue is that we have met Big Brother and he is us. People need to be more cognizant of their electronic actions.

    Back to FB and tweets, if things like written diaries can be subpoened, anything "recorded" may be subject to judicial proceedings. All that said, in this particular instance it seems to border on trying to get inside someone's head (the deceased) and it does not seem to me that what is in the electronic record may be a reality vs. a work of fiction issue. I hope that decision is appealed.

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