Sometimes, the email surprises me. This is especially the case with some of the email about the Julie Amero case that has been discussed on these pages and links given on FlyingHamster. A number of the correspondences have centered on the theme that I (and people who are drawing attention to the Amero matter) are “bleeding hearts.” We are supplying to those people using child pornography with what is, in essence, a Twinkie Defense. This is a defense that avoids personal responsibility and blames the actions on an external factor. For example, the sugar in the pastry caused diminished capacity and therefore the defendant is not responsible for the criminal action.

From my perspective, the Amero matter has a valid defense in that the computer was compromised by malware. Can this defense be used by others who are charged with having child pornography? Certainly, it can. However, good professional forensic review of the hard drive is telling. In the Amero case, this was not done.

In fact, a valid and reliable forensic review can strengthen a case. It is possible to specify how the computer was used. The Amero case is not an example of a ‘free pass’ for those involved in the use of child pornography. Instead, it is a matter of the courts and law enforcement being aware of the intricacies of the evidence before them. The Amero case is important because all the factors were not considered – and, moreover, it may be Julie Amero on trial (and waiting on sentencing), but it easily could be you or I.

[Catherine Forsythe, Director of Operations, FlyingHamster]

[tags]twinkie defense, julie amero, malware, child porn, FlyingHamster, Catherine Forsythe[/tags]