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Electronic fingerprints from face book posting saves a suspect from criminal charges
Rodney Bradford, a New Yorker teen was arrested on suspicion of committing robbery. He was under custody of law enforcement agency for 12 days on suspicion of robbing two people on October, 17, 2009 in the Brooklyn public housing complex where he lives. One of victim's testified before the court that he recognized one of the robbers as Bradford, who lives in Brooklyn public housing complex. The accused and his folks insisted strongly before the courts that he was innocent and he was at his dad’s home at the time when the alleged crime said to took place. It was revealed from the facebook status of the accused that he has updated it by posting a playful message for his pregnant girlfriend just a minute ago before the robbery. The prosecutors dropped the robbery charges against the accused after verifying from the facebook that his account status had been really updated with the playful message from a computer in his dad's apartment just one minute before the Oct. 17 robbery.
In India, Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act would have been applicable to this situation. Thus, the question whether, Rodney Bradford committed robbery at the Brooklyn public housing complex on 17th October, 2009, the fact that on 17th October, 2009 at the time when alleged crime took place, Rodney was at his father’s apartment is relevant. The fact that, near the time when the alleged crime was committed, Rodney was at his father’s residence away a distance from the alleged scene of crime, posting messages on Facebook, would render indulgence of Rodney in crime as highly improbable, though not impossible, that he committed it. It would be a relevant fact u/s 11 IEA.
In the aforesaid case, the plea of the accused and multiple witnesses in his favor did not carry weight until a facebook posting “corroborated” what they said. I wonder, in India, a witness identifying a suspect would carry more weight than a mere facebook posting though relevant under Section 11 of the IEA. Can I commit a bank robbery with impunity and engage my accomplice around the same time on my facebook account to update the postings and take plea before the Court, that, “it was not “I”, see I was around the same time on facebook posting messages for my girlfriends. You can verify the same from the Facebook, the guard of the bank who says, it was “I” may have seen someone else”. Can I do this? (No I don’t mean to commit bank robbery, of course! LOL ……….)
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