Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Court Orders Retrial In Google Maps-Related Murder Case

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the lets-try-this-again dept.

The Courts 152

netbuzz writes "Ruling that a judge erred in blocking two computer security experts from testifying that an incriminating Google Maps search record found on the defendant's laptop was planted there, a North Carolina appeals court has ordered a new trial for ex-Cisco employee Bradley Cooper, convicted two years ago in the 2008 strangulation death of his wife Nancy. 'The sole physical evidence linking Defendant to Ms. Cooper's murder was the alleged Google Map search, conducted on Defendant's laptop, of the exact area where Ms. Cooper's body was discovered,' wrote the appeals court. 'We hold ... that erroneously preventing Defendant from presenting expert testimony, challenging arguably the strongest piece of the State's evidence, constituted reversible error and requires a new trial.'"

cancel ×

152 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

This shouldn't be news (1, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | about a year ago | (#44763235)

Judge makes reversible error. Case overturned on appeal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Re:This shouldn't be news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763253)

Cisco

Re:This shouldn't be news (3, Funny)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about a year ago | (#44764107)

gesundheit

Re:This shouldn't be news (4, Insightful)

multiben (1916126) | about a year ago | (#44763325)

Well you can pretty much boil any story down to a bland set of base components and call it not worthy of the title 'news'. However, I didn't know this and I was interested to read it since I remember the original case. If I hadn't read it here, I may not have seen it at all.

Re:This shouldn't be news (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44763507)

The next headline: Man convicted of murder because he used cellphone to arrange to meet up with his ex-girlfriend, who he hired to kill someone else.

Re: This shouldn't be news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763349)

The real story is that the FBI uses NSA snooping data to manufacture evidence that they're unable to get the legal way.

Which is really bad as it will introduce bias, where they just select the actions that fit the crime.

Re:This shouldn't be news (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763373)

Judge makes reversible error. Case overturned on appeal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

If it were you who was locked up in prison for the rest of your life
for a crime you did not commit and there was evidence of a technical
nature that the ( obviously stupid ) judge refused to allow, you'd be thinking
a lot differently, buddy.

I think it IS newsworthy for two reasons : first, it shows yet another example of how utterly
fucked the adversarial legal system in the US really is. The goal of this fucked
up legal system is to "win", not to find the truth, and the assholes who prosecuted
this case ought to be disbarred for their enthusiasm toward suppressing crucial evidence.

Second, the news has a technical aspect because the "evidence" of the Google Maps
search may have been planted on the machine Cooper supposedly used. If such
details as info stored in a browser cache can be the point on which a man's freedom
hinges, this is technical news of importance.

                                                                                                                - Z

Re:This shouldn't be news (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#44763565)

I think it IS newsworthy for two reasons : first, it shows yet another example of how utterly fucked the adversarial legal system in the US really is. The goal of this fucked up legal system is to "win", not to find the truth, and the assholes who prosecuted this case ought to be disbarred for their enthusiasm toward suppressing crucial evidence.

What's fucked up is that you can be so clearly and utterly clueless - yet still get modded insightful. The prosecutors didn't suppress evidence - the judge ruled that experts couldn't testify. And that's his bloody job. And reading TFA, I can't say that I think he's entirely in the wrong - because the defense screwed the pooch in the first place. (By not getting a properly qualified expert in the first place, and then by potentially violating the rules of evidence.) Pointing out where the defense screwed up is the prosecutors job, and vice versa.
 

Second, the news has a technical aspect because the "evidence" of the Google Maps search may have been planted on the machine Cooper supposedly used. If such details as info stored in a browser cache can be the point on which a man's freedom hinges, this is technical news of importance.

Hardly. This isn't the first such case, nor a particularly notable one. "It happened on a computer" isn't enough to make it newsworthy anymore, that ship sailed decades ago.

Re:This shouldn't be news (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763695)

Pointing out where the defense screwed up is the prosecutors job, and vice versa.

Which is why he thinks the system is fucked up, because who the hell cares about the fucking truth when everyone spends their time crying foul for a chance at the free throw.

Re:This shouldn't be news (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#44763867)

The prosecutors didn't suppress evidence - the judge ruled that experts couldn't testify. And that's his bloody job.

The judge is elected by and paid by taxpayers [ncbar.org] . The majority of those taxpayers will never be privy to the inner workings of the trial, whether by chance or by intent to remain ignorant of local trial proceedings. However, the judge's opponent in the next round of elections will take any opportunity (s)he can to paint the incumbent as incompetent or lenient on criminals, which might be enough to sway the election. Do the math before you rush to such quick judgement.

I also suggest you take a few minutes to review this information [wordpress.com] .

Re:This shouldn't be news (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44764215)

I believe the judge is supposed to be a biased advocate for the defense. Why shouldn't the judge be lenient on criminals? People make mistakes, and the judge is supposed to determine appropriate punitive measures. Unremorseful violent serial rapist? 9 years in jail. Troubled college teen that let his emotions get out of hand at a party and did something he regrets? 6 months and he can live with his conscience. That's how it's supposed to be.

There are no criminals in court. Right now there are absolutely no criminals in trial; there are some in appeals, and that might not even hold water. You are presumably innocent until proven to the judgment of the court that you are guilty; the job of the judge is to make the prosecution sweat its ass and prove to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant is guilty. When the defense raises a point that debases the prosecution's case, the judge should be baring down on the prosecution to explain this shit in some way that makes actual sense or get the fuck out of his court with this bullshit railroad garbage. When the prosecution puts the defense in a bad spot, the judge should be waiting for an explanation from the defense--and if the defense can't render anything good enough, then oh well, I guess that means we have to accept what the prosecution is telling us.

The whole idea that judges are supposed to send people to jail is ludicrous. It's like people think if you get arrested and wind up in court you're guilty and going to jail. Do we have a Cardassian court system now?

Re:This shouldn't be news (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#44764255)

Wrong. The judge is supposed to be an unbiased advocate of the law. His or her job is to conduct the trial and ensure that the rights of both the defendant and the People are protected. In practice of course few judges are totally unbiased, but that's how it is supposed to work. The presumption of innocence is just what it sounds like. It has nothing to do with the judge having a bias, and a judge is certainly not an advocate for the defendant.

Re:This shouldn't be news (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44764285)

The fact remains that the prosecution is there to convince the judge to place a person in jail for violation of the law. The judge is supposed to presume that person is innocent; therefor it is squarely the burden of the prosecution to prove guilt. This is called "Burden of Proof" and thus the judge should be placing a burden on the prosecution.

As the judge should be willfully placing a burden on one party to prove a fact and accepting from another party to only demonstrate that the prosecution hasn't provided sufficient proof of that fact--and specifically, not to show that the declaration of guilt made by the prosecution is actually wrong--this entire process is by nature biased toward the defense. The judge should be maintaining that bias, forcing the prosecution to squarely shoulder their own damn burden, and supporting the defense where reasonable even when it bends or breaks the technical rules of the court. Discovery rules, for example, are there so that you can't blind-side the other lawyer; but if the other lawyer is reasonably prepared for a type of evidence that is being replaced (expert witnesses) or can reasonably examine the evidence in a reasonable amount of time that the court can offer them during adjournment, then it is appropriate to allow introduction of new evidence that may prove catastrophic to the prosecution's case, as the prosecution should not be allowed to prove guilt based on a fantasy that has no grounding in the real world. This happens all the time.

It really is supposed to work that way. Look at the Zimmerman trial and you see a judge who needs to be executed for treason--the judge in that case put the defense in the hot seat and coddled the prosecution, which was completely and totally inappropriate. You are not guilty until you've shown your innocence.

Re:This shouldn't be news (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about a year ago | (#44764097)

What's fucked up is that you can be so clearly and utterly clueless - yet still get modded insightful. The prosecutors didn't suppress evidence - the judge ruled that experts couldn't testify. And that's his bloody job. And reading TFA, I can't say that I think he's entirely in the wrong - because the defense screwed the pooch in the first place. (By not getting a properly qualified expert in the first place, and then by potentially violating the rules of evidence.) Pointing out where the defense screwed up is the prosecutors job, and vice versa.

Now you're getting into the technicalities that are some of what makes the system fucked, so you're really making the his case. No, technically, the prosecutors didn't suppress the evidence, they filed motions to the judge asking him to suppress the evidence. The point here is that the prosecutors did initiate it. That's what's fucked up about the system. The prosecutor's job should be to find the truth, the problem is that finding the truth and justice is not their job, the job is to win and to hell with truth or justice, exactly the point the parent was trying to make.

So they decided the first expert wasn't qualified enough, fine, let's assume they're right, but then if the point of the system is to find the truth and not just to win, then why should they be able to prevent the defendant from finding a different person that the judge can agree is an expert? The point of disallowing a last-minute switch is so that the prosecution has time to check the facts. In this case, they already knew the defendant was going to bring in an expert witness, and what the expert was going to testify to, it shouldn't matter if there was a last-minute switch up, they already had time to check the facts, all they should need is enough time to verify the expert's qualifications.

On another note, the prosecutors also tried to prevent the defense from attempting to examine test data replicating the Google Maps search that was created by investigators by claiming national security! Now that really does sound like they were suppressing (or strong-arming the judge to suppress) potentially exculpatory evidence. Through each of these things, it is clear that the prosecutor is neither serving the public nor justice, their only goal is to win, and that is evidence that the system is totally fucked. If the system were not fucked, then the prosecutors would be disbarred for this.

Re:This shouldn't be news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764535)

What's fucked up is that you can be so clearly and utterly clueless - yet still get modded insightful.

Your envy is pitiful. Your butthurt is delightful.

Re:This shouldn't be news (3, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44763665)

If it were you who was locked up in prison for the rest of your life for a crime you did not commit

Just get me a brightly coloured, oversized van.

Re:This shouldn't be news (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44764195)

Also important is these are expert witnesses who are testifying that the evidence was planted. They're computer hackers... now, you can make evidence look planted, or evidence look not-planted, on a computer. There's no real way to tell--people like to talk about position on drives or other IO subsystem statistical analysis to show that data "isn't physically where it goes" (it's on the wrong spot on the platter!!!), but that's all as hokey as arson myths passed as science used to execute people for murder [wikipedia.org] .

Pull in your own expert witness and he'll say, "There's no way to know this was planted, and no evidence showing that this was really potentially planted; all of this is within standard variation." Then he'll collect his $5000 and go.

Re:This shouldn't be news (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44763745)

I don't know about you but I find it terrifying that people can go to jail for things they didn't do, even if they do eventually get an appeal and prove themselves innocent. Between judges making errors and jurors being prejudiced morons it seems like justice is pretty hit and miss.

Re:This shouldn't be news (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | about a year ago | (#44764073)

No legal system is perfect. Unless you refuse to jail anyone, you always run the risk of jailing an innocent. The fact that we have an appeals system to review cases and try to catch those errors and a testament to the US legal system. Perfect? No. But looking at legal systems through history, it is one fo the best.

Re:This shouldn't be news (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44764221)

More people in jail per kapita than Russia.

More people in jail per kapita than North Korea.

More people in jail per kapita than Cuba.

Komrade!

Re:This shouldn't be news (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44764361)

The biggest problem is that we assume juries are perfect. If a jury returns a verdict you can't challenge it on the grounds that they made a mistake or didn't understand the evidence put to them. You can only appeal if there is new evidence of procedural problems with the trial itself.

I know people who have served on juries and most of them say that the other people there were prejudiced and made up their mind based on things other than the evidence. Occasionally this comes to light as some idiot tweets his thoughts or the jury asks the judge idiotic questions.

In Japan they have a system of lay judges instead. There are three professional judges and I think 11 lay judges made up of people randomly selected in a similar manner to a jury. The decision is usually based on the majority verdict but the judges are part of the deliberations and have a veto over extreme stupidity. I think it's better than locking a bunch of random idiots who don't want to be there in a room on their own until a decision is made.

Re:This shouldn't be news (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#44764297)

It's not clear that the guy didn't commit the murder, despite the claim that the Google map search was "planted" (which I find rather odd... would someone really "plant" a file vs simply doing the search in the browser???)

Re:This shouldn't be news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763777)

Let me clarify that for you:

US Judge makes reversible error. US Case overturned on appeal and sent back for retrial. World stunned, could Justice possibly be gaining ground in these wild territories?

A-FUCKING-MAZING (1, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44763279)

In an amazing co-inky-dink, this guy and Hans Reiser were roommates in college...

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (1)

deadlydiscs (1505207) | about a year ago | (#44763311)

In an amazing co-inky-dink, this guy and Hans Reiser were roommates in college...

true story?? I couldn't find anything confirming this (maybe I'm too gullible)

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44763351)

It's a JOKE... I should have put [joke][/joke] tags around it. I mean seriously, Hans Reiser?

Joke...

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763393)

Yeah, we all know Hans Reiser's college roommate was Tommy Lee Jones, except for the one semester with Robin Williams and Clark Kent.

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763561)

I thought he spent his college years in a love triangle with Vladimir Putin and Linus.

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763781)

But they didn't live in the same dorm!

Linus actually roomed with a clone of Abraham Lincoln.

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763853)

The Zombie Hunter? Wow.

Re:A-FUCKING-MAZING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764159)

It's time for a Linus biopic I think. Could be slightly altered so we have the opportunity to see him out-wit Microsoft hired guns at day and dodge psychic attacks from Stallman at nights, Inception-style. The BSD crowd could put in an appearance as ruthless hacker mercenaries with a paranoid bent.

Independent evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763281)

When did the NSA get the Google data set? Is 2008 too early? If not, then then they should subpoena the NSA.

The playbook is now written (4, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763295)

Next time I murder my wife, I'm going to plant obviously fake evidence on my own computer linking me to the crime.

Re:The playbook is now written (5, Funny)

wrackspurt (3028771) | about a year ago | (#44763327)

Next time I murder my wife

uhm... that does somewhat beg the question as to how many times you've murdered her already.

Re:The playbook is now written (5, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44763385)

Well, obviously he is a Mormon...

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763437)

I am? I didn't know that. An atheist brought up as a Welsh methodist is really a Mormon? Where do I go to buy my magic underwear?
 

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763509)

woooooooooooosh!

even the aliens that live in underground caves on titan heard that one.

Re:The playbook is now written (1, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763579)

They're the original Mormons.

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

Salafrance Underhill (2947653) | about a year ago | (#44763945)

There's a place called Pant Y Gwdr in the centre of Swansea, which happens to offer the largest market for magic underwear in the Western Hemisphere and is perhaps the reason for the anomalous concentration of Mormons in the locale. I believe the name roughly translates to 'pantie-girdle'.

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764129)

Ah, Welsh! I guess you were referring to your "pastoral wives" then.

Re:The playbook is now written (3, Informative)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year ago | (#44763387)

uhm... that does somewhat beg the question as to how many times you've murdered her already.

No, it does not somewhat beg the question. [wikipedia.org]
That raises a new question.

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763413)

Thank you. I resisted the temptation to correct the poster's use of the English term 'beg the question'.

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763673)

I resisted the temptation to correct the poster's use of the English term 'beg the question'.

Which is amusing because it's perfectly valid English. What you and the grandparent are referring to is a perfectly invalid mistranslation of petitio principii (seeking the principles) which has nothing to do with begging or questions.

Re:The playbook is now written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764067)

Which is amusing because it's perfectly valid English.

Valid in what sense? Syntactically? Your unsupported assertion to the contrary, begging the question has a specific meaning, and it's not the one the OP intended.

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

Necronomicode (859935) | about a year ago | (#44764199)

Well, if you want to completely ignore common usage then technically the Ops use of 'beg the question' is indeed incorrect.
The phrase 'begs the question' is also used to mean 'begs for the question' and is widely used in modern English today. I had no problem in understanding the meaning of the OP and as such his post succeeded.

Here's a link showing the dual meaning (just showing that your assertion that it 'has a specific meaning' is also unsupported and that it doies mean what the OP intended):
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/beg+the+question [thefreedictionary.com]

Can't get more wronger than that ;-)

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year ago | (#44764509)

It is only correct in modern English because it has been abused and incorrectly used for so long that the improper use has become accepted.

Re:The playbook is now written (5, Funny)

stormpunk (515019) | about a year ago | (#44763445)

It literally drives me up the wall when somebody has pour gramer.

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763467)

What we need more of is pro grammars

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763531)

Your right about that.

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

Mark Hood (1630) | about a year ago | (#44764061)

While I happen to agree with that, from the article you linked:

Despite having "long been condemned by usage commentators as incorrect or sloppy", some authorities consider the use of "begs the question" as a way of saying "raises the question" or "evades the question" to be no longer mistaken because it has attained such wide usage.

In other words, we lost the battle - and it now does mean that.

Re:The playbook is now written (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about a year ago | (#44763681)

Oh, c'mon, just because the lead happened to be the good-looking Bradley Cooper

"physical evidence"? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44763301)

Ummm.. what?

The sole physical evidence ... was the alleged Google Map search

One should grab that search and throw it hard against a target... see how much of a physical presence that search has.

Re:"physical evidence"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763611)

if they decide to throw the laptop where the search is stored on, it would leave a mark. The laptop is the physical evidence.

Re:"physical evidence"? (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#44763671)

It's physical evidence in much the same way that a letter confessing to a crime is physical evidence, and not just ink lines on a piece of paper. Although the content, the meaning, of the writing or data may be virtual, the medium on which they're stored is physical. Hence they're physical evidence. For that matter, the same goes for fingerprints and DNA. The grease or DNA molecules are just the medium. The pattern of lines and pattern of C/T/A/G molecules are what's important, but they are virtual (can exist independently of the medium).

Does Cisco hire morons? (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44763313)

The guy is probably guilty. On the other hand, it may be so that these files where planted.

I'm just wondering how a tech-savvy Cisco guy would space out or not consider clearing the cache and temp files after planning a murder?

Does Cisco hire morons?

Don't answer that...

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (2)

Cramer (69040) | about a year ago | (#44763333)

You do realize Google keeps their own search history on their servers outside your browser. It's still clear-able, but there's more work involved.

(I opt out of that crap.)

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year ago | (#44763617)

By clearable, you mean detonating a bomb in their datacenter?

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44763755)

No, they have a policy of having your data in at least 3 data centers, somethings are replicated more than that.

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (3, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44763429)

It should be fairly easy to tell, its not like Google doesn't log EVERY FUCKING REQUEST.

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764449)

It should be fairly easy to tell, its not like Google doesn't log EVERY FUCKING REQUEST.

Fortunately I only send them non-fucking requests. So they shouldn't have any data about me, right? ;-)

Re:Does Cisco hire morons? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year ago | (#44764093)

Could it be the case that the wife planned to visit the area where her body was found, maybe for a photography hobby.

It could be just unfortunate she met her killer there and died. Not unusual for a wife to use her husbands laptop. Many couples trust each other with passwords. She might even have asked him to do the search for her.

Planting evidence doesn't have to be the alternative option and some times there are coincidences.

E.g

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-21442107 [bbc.co.uk]

A man has been jailed for life for killing a 19-year-old woman more than a decade after her boyfriend was wrongly jailed for the crime.

Shahidul Ahmed strangled Rachel Manning in Milton Keynes and dumped her body at a golf course in 2000.

In 2002, Barri White was convicted of murder and his friend Keith Hyatt of perverting the course of justice. Both had their convictions quashed in 2007.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-21412241 [bbc.co.uk]

Keith's only involvement on the night of Rachel Manning's murder was to give a lift to his friend Barri White, who was looking for his girlfriend Rachel after she became lost in Milton Keynes in December 2000.

In a tragic coincidence, Keith was going about his job as a courier two days later when he spotted police at Woburn Golf Club.

He parked his van and made the fatal mistake of asking about the missing teenager, at the very spot where her body had been found.

It was simply another act of kindness for Barri and for Rachel, but it roused suspicion.

Police seized Keith's van and, he believes, "stopped investigating the murder" and built a case around him and Barri, an "easy touch".

There is a whole lot more behind this story including a "jail house confession" to another inmate which is obviously discredited now.

Hopefully the retrial will be conclusive in this cisco case.
     

For those that didn't RTFA... (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44763341)

For those that don't RTFA, here's another interesting nugget: The judge also denied the defense from showing technical evidence of a "recreation" of how this search might look if someone actually did ti on the defendant's machine:

As a sideshow, the appeal also slapped down prosecutors for waving the "national security" banner to ward off a defense attempt to examine test data replicating the Google Maps search that was created by investigators:

It was error for the trial court to shut down this line of questioning without ascertaining how, or if, national security or some other legitimate interest outweighed the probative value of this information to Defendant. On remand, the trial court must determine with a reasonable degree of specificity how national security or some other legitimate interest would be compromised by discovery of particular data or materials, and memorialize its ruling in some form allowing for informed appellate review.

I tend to have a "gut" feeling the guy killed his wife, no one else has motive and the devorce was "ugly".

BUT... The Judge in the original trile seems to have made some errors...

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763409)

I tend to have a "gut" feeling the guy killed his wife, no one else has motive and the devorce was "ugly".

No one else you or the prosecution know about has motive, is what you should have said. For all we know the wife was fucking some other woman's husband
and started making demands which led this second man to commit murder.
Stranger things have happened in this world.

To achieve a conviction, this murder case must remove ALL reasonable doubt. Since no one can say whether there might have been another person who committed the murder, I would surmise that if it can be proven the browser "evidence" was planted, the defendant will go free, whether he deserves to or not.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763447)

You, sir, are a fucking idiot. Go suck your roommate's cock.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (4, Insightful)

unitron (5733) | about a year ago | (#44763481)

Guilty or not, I smell a frame.

National security? Really? That's the best reason they could come up with to try to stop an inquiry into how they "found" their evidence?

And this guy's supposedly clever and knowledgeable enough to fake a call from his home phone but doesn't know there's a record of his map search left on the computer?

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44763515)

Yes more was linked to http://www.bradreese.com/blog/9-3-2013.htm [bradreese.com]
"every test that Agent Johnson does can affect national security and that people could be put in danger."

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (2)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#44763933)


It's not impossible that a) He didn't consider that they might try and check for google maps searches b) that the google map search is recorded in some way that his efforts to delete data missed or c) that the summary/article includes a minor technical error and the search was retrieved from Google's infrastructure which he had not thought to wipe.

I think the last option may be quite likely and it is possible that is where the 'security' aspect came in. If the information was retrieved from Google via a government program they might not want to discuss what they can get hold of.

The problem with court in general is that the standard (at least in the UK) is the almost ephemeral 'beyond reasonable doubt'. If you are widely accepting of other possibilities then it is virtually impossible to reach that standard. Clearly based on some of the shoddy convictions we see the Jurors are willing to convict when there are considerable doubts.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#44764075)

The problem with court in general is that the standard (at least in the UK) is the almost ephemeral 'beyond reasonable doubt'. If you are widely accepting of other possibilities then it is virtually impossible to reach that standard. Clearly based on some of the shoddy convictions we see the Jurors are willing to convict when there are considerable doubts.

Bullshit. The problem is programmers getting mixed up between the all possible doubt standard and reasonable doubt. The former is mathematically and logically nice, but is utterly impossible; a recipe for total stasis. Fortunately, it is the latter that is actually used. Think of it as if you're using a bayesian reasoner and are trying to establish whether the likelihood of guilt is over a sufficient threshold; reasonable doubt probably kicks in somewhere around the 99% level. (Civil cases are typically settled on balance of probabilities, which is the 50% level.)

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#44764329)

I'm not inclined to debate with people who can't even manage to start their post like a mature individual. If someone asked me to cross a bridge which had a 99% chance of staying standing because that meant it was 'beyond reasonable doubt' I would take exception to that classification; I fail to see why the standard for potentially ruining someone's life should be so much lower than I would accept with my own, but then I have considerably more confidence in my own position than that of someone immature enough to think "Bullshit." is an effective opening sentence.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44764269)

If they did get the evidence via a secret government spy program it was almost certainly obtained illegally anyway. More over the idea that someone can be convicted on secret evidence that they are not allowed to see or contest is disgusting and an affront to justice.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#44764335)

Absolutely. I wasn't suggesting that they should be able to keep it secret; only that it could explain why they would want to and try to do so via using 'national security'.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764177)

Perhaps they actually had a full record of his online activities but could not disclose it because the programs by which NSA share data with law enforcement are secret. So they planted evidence on his computer (which he had scrubbed in actuality) to hide the real source of their info.

Re:For those that didn't RTFA... (1)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44764349)

If I had guess their reason for using "national security", their only REAL evidence was probably obtained illegally by a three letter agency during some dragnet surveillance. They probably "reconstructed" this google maps evidence, as the prosecution often does, and won't tell anyone about the bullshit that's going on because it's blatantly unconstitutional.

Kink Tut's murderer found... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44763381)

I did a search on Google Earth looking at the Valley of the Kings, so I must be guilty of many a death about 4000 years ago...

Re:Kink Tut's murderer found... (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#44763415)

I did a search on Google Earth looking at the Valley of the Kings, so I must be guilty of many a death about 4000 years ago...

No, but if you did a search of the Valley of the Kings two days prior to your wife's body being found in an obscure tomb off the beaten path, well, maybe the cops should ask you about that...

And by the way, "Kink Tut"? Is that a drag queen or something? Sounds like your wife found out something, and you just let the Freudian slip...

Re: Kink Tut's murderer found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764193)

Yes the cops should ask you about a suspicious google map search but only in America would such a search be the basis for a murder convictio, that is fucked up. Better to let a thousand guilty persons walk free than convict an innocent person. Elected judges are little better than mob rule.

Re:Kink Tut's murderer found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763453)

better off doing the time in US even if you need to brake some us laws to stay in us lock up.

Re:Kink Tut's murderer found... (1)

matria (157464) | about a year ago | (#44763605)

Just don't try it in Texas.

Re:Kink Tut's murderer found... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44764267)

Kink Tut? WTF was he into? He was like 12!

mod 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763397)

includes 3here y0u are a pathetic kill myself like

a new trial for ex-Cisco employee Bradley Cooper (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year ago | (#44763419)

A bad hangover probably

HR BS (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44763421)

contending that his lack of specific computer forensics expertise rendered him unqualified. The trial judge accepted that objection and Ward was limited to testifying only in general terms about computer network security.

but it works when you want a H1B1

Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763433)

It just opens up a can of worms as to its authenticity. How do we know he was the one who searched for this specific spot? Even if you argue it was probably him because it was his computer the law requires it to be beyond a reasonable doubt. Probably is not the same thing as beyond a reasonable doubt. Show me this AND multiple pieces of other evidence. Preferably something that is more damming. Otherwise I'm going to have doubts. Prosecutors are malicious and I'd trust a random stranger over the prosecution in any case.

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44763461)

Particularly now we know the NSA has its tentacles everywhere.

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44763465)

If it's the only evidence and it's obviously fake, then that supports a fit up hypothesis.

As with the Reiser's of this world, once you've got the guy who actually did it, all sorts of forensic and circumstantial evidence pops up.

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763553)

It should be admissible but the jury should be made strongly aware that it's not proof of guilt. Same as any other forensics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumstantial_evidence [wikipedia.org]

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44763635)

Too many things here. And too lazy to RTFA, let alone dig even further.

TFS suggests a Google Maps search (wondering how they know that he was searching for that spot in the first place) is the strongest evidence linking him to the crime. If so, the rest is really weak!

Many crimes do not have a "smoking gun" kind of evidence. It is often a whole lot of clues, each of which may be overturned on the "beyond reasonable doubt" requirement, but the lot of them may not. And if this were used as "yet another piece of evidence", fine. But a key piece of evidence... well, that's getting hairy.

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#44763887)

Yeah. This is what bothers me about this case too. So the guy basically committed the perfect murder...except that he was dumb enough to perform a search of her burial site on his own fucking computer without bothering to erase at least the local evidence of said search? Hell. I'd do it from an internet cafe with TOR or from a wifi hotspot or unsecured wifi and then securely erase the entire hardrive of the OS where the search was performed. The guy was commiting murder for christ sake. It's not like he'd be too lazy to bother or something.

Sounds like they don't even have a motive. Getting a divorce is a pretty shaky motive for murder. Couldn't they at least find (or manufacture) evidence that she was cheating on him or something? The guy was convicted solely on the basis of the google map search. Admittedly that is suspicous as hell, but the physical evidence had better be iron clad. If there is *any* evidence that the search was planted by a third party that sounds like reasonable doubt to me.

Also they cited the purchase of laundry detergent as incriminating? Seriously?

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763829)

How do we know he was the one who searched for this specific spot?

ls -ltrh. Get your access together!

Re:Computer "forensics" should never be admissible (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | about a year ago | (#44764087)

Reasonable doubt is a pretty low threshold. It is not he "Shadow of a doubt" that TV makes it out to be. Google maps searches on your laptop - yeah, a reasonable person would believe that you made the search.

Bradley Cooper? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763457)

She prefers to be called Chelsea Cooper now.

This guy is a piece of junk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763737)

This guy is a piece of junk. The other IT-wifekiller Hans Reiser at least accepted his fate.

I hate the so-called civilized legal system, where the perps can try every way to avoid being punished, while the victim, being dead, cannot do anything to help punish the perp. The office of the public accuser seldom does comparable effort to secure punishment, usually they are apathic, since they are not connected to the case personally.

In old times criminal people usually admitted outright to murder if caught, confessed to a priest, took the sacraments of penance and the Most Holy Eucharist and went under the gallows hoping that Jesus will forgive them and St. Peter will let them into Heavens, after some temporal punishment in the Purgatory.

Nowadays people do everything possible and even impossible to avoid the worldly punishment and if they get acquitted, they will even brag about the murder and being able to avoid the verdict. Nobody cares about the afterlife, where unconfessed mortal sinners burn forever in Hell. Nobody considers that the Vatican infallibly teaches Hell is not an empty place and those who say otherwise are heretics. People who ignore the fact that there are many already in Hell may easily end up there themselves. But consider: once in Hell, there is absolutely no way back!

Mr. Bradley should rather focus on saving his soul for eternity, rather than saving his body from worldly punishment.

Re: This guy is a piece of junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764207)

You faith in sky fairies proves you are not fit to weigh evidence.

Re:This guy is a piece of junk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764277)

You are wrong on all counts. District Attorneys are often overzealous in their prosecutions, especially in jurisdictions where they are elected, which are many.

One of the worst offenders I can think of is Resa Vetri Fermin, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She routinely throws the book at people for minor, victimless offenses. She also once charged with attempted murder a man who was being robbed of his bicycle on the popular bike path there, by two thugs who were found to have a garage full of stolen bicycles, by lawfully using his firearm in self defense. She even refused to drop the charges even after the two thugs were discovered to be running a bicycle theft ring, and had been implicated in several other violent armed robberies.

The justice system is what it is, and there are rules. The State must follow all the rules to the letter if it is to deprive someone of their life, liberty, or property. If the State breaks those rules, it loses its case, period. A person is innocent until proven guilty, and if the State fails to prove them guilty, they are innocent. Period.

A defendant may be guilty, and they may know they are guilty, but they are under no legal or moral obligation to admit to that. It is up to the State to prove it.

Roofies (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#44763783)

Bradley Cooper did it under the influence of Roofies - he doesn't remember anything now.

How this proof hold its water? (2)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44763787)

Just lets suppose the wife google it on his notebook to find the location. I google things all the time before going there.

Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763919)

They nailed him on just the Google Maps stuff?! Holy hell that's crazy! Isn't that shit highly circumstantial? Wouldn't you expect more concrete evidence to be presented such as DNA, etc. before holding someone guilty... throwing someone in prison for god knows how many years just because he Googled a location is just insane.

Facts are Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44764251)

I can't imagine why facts would not be allowed to be presented in a court case. I thought the whole point of the justice system was the pursuit of the truth. Well, if a relevant truth exists, why disallow it? Unless, of course, the justice system is corrupt.

Brad Cooper (4, Interesting)

damicatz (711271) | about a year ago | (#44764437)

I'm from the area and this case has been rather prominently featured on the news.

The district attorneys in this state are well known for their corruption and disregard for the rights of the accused and/or of the innocent. This trial is only taking place one county over from where Mike Nifong persued his witchhunt against the Duke Lacrosse players. In addition, the SBI has been implicated in a large scandal in which evidence was faked and mishandled.

Most people here do not believe he is guilty but rather that this is a sham case in which a misandristic government and court system automatically assumes that the husband must be the one who killed his wife.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>