Authenticating Social Media Evidence Is Harder Than Lawyers Think

Let’s play a game. You’re the judge. Under the following facts, is the social media evidence admissible? After obtaining a Court Order allowing him to obtain a criminal defendant’s Facebook records, the prosecutor files a motion seeking permission to introduce into evidence the following items: Screenshots of the defendant’s Facebook account Various undated mobile and online “chat” messages A bloody hands photo posted by another individual So, which items were admissible? Not which items should have been admissible? The answer: None. Why? Even social media obtained pursuant to a court order must be authenticated properly to be admitted into evidence. In other words, the prosecutor failed to establish sufficiently that the items were “connected” to the defendant even though the Facebook account in question bore the defendant’s name and other characteristics. The chat messages were excluded because they contained insufficient…

Read more detail on Recent Legal Ethics posts –

This entry was posted in Legal Ethics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply