Judge Michael Corriero explains how Facebook posts and other forms of social media can be used against you in a court of law. Judge Corriero served on the bench for 28 years and was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court. He’s currently the cohost of “Hot Bench” and is the founder of the New York Center for Juvenile Justice. Following is a transcript of the video.
We’d have a young man who’s accused of possessing a weapon, “He’s never had a weapon in his life, judge.” “All right.”
You go on Facebook and you see the kid there with two guns in each hand with a big smile on his face. For the most part, if you publish something on the internet then that goes into the public domain. If you say, “That’s not my photograph.” That has to be resolved before a jury would see it, for example, is this you or isn’t you and how can we prove it’s actually you. And how can you prove it? Well it came out of this account. The account is traceable to you.
If someone uses a photograph of you and makes it public when perhaps you intended it not to be you might be able to have — an action against the friend for unfairly depicting you as a drunk, for example. But if you were actually drunk, then I think you’re in trouble.
There’s no prohibition against taking that photograph. You’re out in public. People are just recording that moment. If it’s a matter of criminality, it’s too bad. If that’s an accurate representation of you, that’s the strongest evidence of your guilt. So why would we keep it out of evidence?
The prohibition against using illegally obtained evidence applies primarily, essentially solely, to law enforcement. It doesn’t apply to another civilian. If you we’re foolish enough to let other people know your criminality, well that’s too bad.
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