Social media being used to build court cases
The pervasive and growing world of social media continues to extend its reach into all areas of everyday life, where it also now being used to build court cases.
The use of social media in court cases comes to light after Megan Merkel of Ontario posted an expletive-ridden Facebook rant about 'haters' holding her responsible for the death of a high school teacher in a vehicle accident.
It was alleged that Merkel was driving drunk when she hit popular high school biology teacher Heather Boyum, who was riding her bike on an early Sunday morning.
Mrs Boyum was first hit by a motorcycle that was driven by Merkel's boyfriend Mark Scerbo, when she was then hit by Merkel in the car.
Merkel used her Facebook page on July 31 to air her views on the accident, proclaiming her innocence stating on the site "I was sure as hell not being a reckless driver and what happened I couldnt help. So stay off my page with ur negativity".
Merkel then deactivated her page the next day, but not before various media sources in Britain and the United States were able to grab screenshots of the post.
In an article by USA Today it was reported by district attorney Sandra Doorley that individuals had forwarded the contents of the page to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office.
Merkel was arrested and charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter on Thursday August 2.
It is not yet known if the post from her Facebook page will provide ample evidence for the prosecutors, but it is worth considering the impact that supposedly simple posts on social media can have.
Local lawyer Nicole Black told USA Today "It is happening more often, and I think the police and prosecutors would be stupid not to look at social media for investigative purposes".
Posted by April Revake