Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Herring v. United States, a case examining whether the exclusionary rule should apply to a search that was based on an error in a database.
In particular, due to a negligent error in a computer database indicating that there was an outstanding felony arrest warrant for Bennie Herring, he was arrested and a search incident to arrest revealed drugs and a gun (which he was not permitted to possess since he had a previous felony conviction).
The Lori Drew trial is set to begin this week, and it is a travesty that this trial is even taking place. The basic facts of this case are that Drew was the mother of a teenage daughter and she created a fake MySpace profile for a fictional teen boy to befriend a classmate of her daughter’s. It remains unclear what the motivation was for creating this fake profile, but from what I’ve read, it was to learn about rumors about her daughter. This classmate, Megan Meier, befriended the fake MySpace persona. At some point, the fake persona broke up with Meier, saying he no longer wanted to be friends, and Meier committed suicide.
Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, David Post and Orin Kerr are debating Post’s experiment of having students read unedited judicial opinions in his classes. Kerr writes that the skill of locating the relevant material in a case is a skill that is learned through all types of reading. Post counters that “a critical part of becoming a lawyer is being able to read through a long document – and not any old long document, but a very particular kind of long document, a ‘judicial opinion’ – to ‘find the relevant section.’”
I’ve blogged about the Megan Meier case a while ago. This is the case where Megan Meier, a teenager, committed suicide after her online friend from Myspace suddenly started to reject her and say mean things to her. The “friend” on Myspace was actually Lori Drew, the mother of one of her classmates, and some other individuals. They created the fake profile and were pretending to be Meier’s fictional friend.