MySpace Post Allowed as Evidence in Murder Trial

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

gavelFollowing a horrific murder in 2007, an Indiana man, Ian Clark, was convicted by a jury and sentenced to life without parole. But the case recently came up for appeal, and the sole issue? Whether the trial judge was right in allowing a MySpace post to be admitted as evidence.

The WSJ Law Blog reports that the Indiana Supreme Court held it to be admissible, affirming the verdict. Apparently the defendant’s own words posted on the Internet were key to understanding his state of mind, which was at issue in the trial since he testified that he was “reckless” (as he was drunk at the time of the killing) but not an “intentional killer.”

On his MySpace page, Clark wrote: “Society labels me as an outlaw and criminal and sees more and more everyday how many of the people, while growing up, and those who judge me, are dishonest and dishonorable.”

This isn’t the first time that Internet postings have been used as evidence in a courtroom, but it always serves as a reminder that you should be careful about what you say – or write. In Clark’s case, noting that “It’s only a C Felony, I can beat this,” was probably not particularly endearing to the jurors.

[Image Source: joegratz (CC)]