Monday, January 15, 2007

Follow Up #2

Here's the original story.

As you are probably aware, this case is getting huge amount of press and coverage in the education world. Just do a search for Julie Amero and you'll get the story.

The education world feels that she has been railroaded and that the school district is to blame for the whole incident. My initial reaction was the same, but I felt that there was a lot I didn't know, especially since I was involved in investigating a similar incidents where the teachers were obviously guilty. The difference was in our case was that the school district's actions and procedures were exemplary.

Initially I hesitated to make any judgement, because when we made our investigation, it was based on firewall log files as well as content on the computer which painted a clear picture of the teacher's actions and activities leaving no room for arguments of accidents. In this case it appears that no such strong evidence existed.

This case seems to rest primarily on the existance of pornography on the computer. I have found no reference to activity log files that would paint a clear picture of the teacher's actions. Such logs that would include time spent on each page, a sequence of action, links followed and more would easily prove either the prosecution or the defence's contentions.

My feeling here is that the school district was obviously in the wrong in any number of areas, including being in violation of CIPA. The defence was incompetent, the prosecution was misguided, the forensics were sloppy, and the judge's actions were questionable.

The case has the potential of really making teachers think twice about having their kids use technology if they are going to be held responsible for accidents created by spyware and school district lack of support.

I'm sure that the appeal will find her innocent.


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posted by Art @ 12:40 PM   2 comments


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The appeal is not a retrial of the facts, but only of the legal issues. If it was erroneously determined as a fact that she did these acts, the conviction will stand unless a legal error is proven to exist. More than 90% of all convictions are affirmed, even those of innocents.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Art said...

Excellent point. Of course I'm not a lawyer and don't even play one on TV, but if memory serves me right, incompetent defence could play a role in getting a verdict overturned or a new trial. Is this something that could happen?


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