Substitute Teacher Granted New Trial In Porn Popup Case

from the well-that's-a-relief dept

Today was supposed to be the day that Julie Amero, the substitute teacher convicted of exposing her students to internet pornography, was to learn her sentence. The sentencing has been the subject of several delays, as more information continued to come to light following her initial conviction, particularly as it related to the security of the school's computers and the fact that they were overrun with popups and spyware. There even appeared to be some evidence that the prosecution was looking for a way to quietly vacate the whole thing. Well, it's not quite a full reprieve, but the judge in the trial has struck down the guilty verdict and called for a new trial. Considering all of the backlash and new information surrounding this unfortunate trial, it would seem likely that prosecutors will either drop the charges or pursue a less significant charge. Either way, this ruling sure beats spending 40 years in prison, which is what initial reports suggested was possible.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 3:57pm

    So when will the "expert" for the prosecution be charged with perjury?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 4:02pm

    That is a great question. What tech minded person in their right mind would testify against this poor person? It doesn't take half a brain to realize what was at fault here.

     

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    Shawn Nunley, CISSP, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 4:25pm

    Looks like the public voice may have been heard

    Many of us contacted the prosecution and the governor. How ironic... the insecurity of the Internet (more accurately, her schools bad infosec policy and budget) was the force the put Julie Amero in harm's way, and the voice of the Internet is probably what saved her. Let's hope fr a sensible outcome. Let's hope this prosecutor learned a few things too.

     

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      Joe Smith, Jun 7th, 2007 @ 4:11pm

      Re: Looks like the public voice may have been hear

      "Let's hope this prosecutor learned a few things too."

      Let's hope he is currently unemployed looking for a new career more in line with his limited talents - one where there is no need for a sense of integrity or fair play.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 4:25pm

    Sadly, even if they choose not to pursue the case further (personally they're idiots if they do, but they've already proven they are so it's quite likely they will) the damage is done. Hell the woman even lost a child over this. Ideally, those responsible for this fiasco should be held to some serious reprecussions and be subject to some form of major restitution (I'm not a big fan of our sue happy culture, but damn).

    Additionally the prosecutor, the jury, and probably the judge should be barred from being within five feet of a computer with internet access. These people are the reason we have so many botnets. And their "expert" should be barred from using a computer period. Hell, I can find at least a dozen (but more likely even hundreds or thousands) or so 15 year olds (and that 12 year old I heard about a while back who designed his own browser) who know more about how computers work and netowrk security then that dude does.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 4:53pm

    The most infuriating part:

    Hartz is asked if Amero's scenario - a computer slipping into "an endless loop" of uncontrollable pornographic websites popping up - is possible.

    "I've never seen that," he says, "so I would have to say probably not."

    http://www.courant.com/news/local/columnists/hc-julieamero.artmar25-col,0,1404311.column?page =4&coll=hc-utility-local


    I want to know how this man got a job as head of information technology for the school district (or or any other sort of IT job for that matter)? OK this sort of thing might not have been that common by 2004, but even 5-6 years ago this sort of thing happened all the time. It's one thing if a noob like Amero is computer illiterate (although I question why someone who doesn't know enough to even be able to turn off the monitor and safely do so was allowed to operate a classroom full of them), but and IT head? Unacceptable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 5:10pm

    WE HAVE TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN

    yeah right!

    What's it going to take to get the religious nutcases and the political whores that cater to them out of our lives?!!

    I know - I know - not every religious person is a nutcase. It's just that the nutcases that seem to be running things.

    We have to protect kids from naked people; but it's ok to send them to a stupid, oil driven war. Makes me sick!

     

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    Joe, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 7:50pm

    Same Old Story

    I agree with Coward #1, holding lawyers accountable for their representation would deter many of these ridiculous cases.

    And we've seen this for years, elected officials making technology decisions based on their experience programming a VCR. Thankfully, they are a dying breed... literally.

    And for god's sake Coward #5, Bush had nothing to do with this... sheesh

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 9:58pm

    No, Bush had nothing to do with this particular case. No shit. But those in control of this case exhibited the same myopic worldview that the current Administration has done in getting us into this 'fuck-you-if-you-disagree-with-me' occupation of Iraq. There is no accountability in this society anymore. At least not if you're a white Christian male. The rest of us will get strung up by the holier-than-thou and those scared shitless into keeping them in power.

     

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    lili, Jun 6th, 2007 @ 10:53pm

    it is like the students are naiiv or something like that. HELLO. we need to learn from kids these days what is new on the internet and porno or else. please stop this childish games. let the teacher be free. if we could just be open to our kids we would be in a better shape as far as drug, rape, and ....
    we are not talking about elementary students.

     

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    EnricoSuarve, Jun 7th, 2007 @ 1:48am

    At what point can she sue?

    I'm not 100% on American law (as has been pointed out to me in some of my previous posts!)

    I assume she gets to sue the prosecutor and his expert at some point for either purjury or gross incompetance?

    Can she do this now or does she have to wait for them to drop all charges?

    Just curious

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2007 @ 5:31pm

      Re: At what point can she sue?

      I assume she gets to sue the prosecutor and his expert at some point for either purjury or gross incompetance?
      No. In US courts officers of the court, such as judges and attorneys, are generally immune from suits over their actions in court.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2007 @ 4:41pm

    Expert?

    I'd like to know how the police detective ever got certified as an "expert" in this case to begin with. The legal system supposedly has some fairly rigorous requirements to keep fake "experts" from offering expert testimony. To be certified as an "expert" usually requires at least a top level degree in the field of claimed expertise. So the detective should have had at least a doctorate in computer science form a duly accredited university to even be considered a potential expert. Then he should have needed to have published articles dealing with computer security in peer-reviewed scientific computing journals and have an established reputation as an expert amongst others in the field. Did the police detective meet these criteria? I doubt it. So just how did he become an court-certified "expert"?

     

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