The state of Connecticut v. Julie Amero is an infamous case in the history of computer forensics. Julie Amero was a 40-year-old substitute teacher for a seventh grade class in Norwich, CT in October 2004. The computer in the room was accessed by the students when the regular teacher was out of the room. When Ms. Amero was in control of the classroom, the computer started showing endless pornographic images.
After a trial in 2007, Julie Amero was convicted of four counts of impairing the morals of a child, a felony conviction that carried a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail. During the trial, Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury testified as an expert witness for the prosecution, relying on his use of ComputerCOP Professional for his forensic analysis.
The case gained national attention when Alex Eckelberry, then president of Sunbelt Software, championed the case on his blog and led a team of forensic researchers to examine the trial testimony and the contents of the school computer's hard drive. In June of 2007, the conviction was thrown out and Ms. Amero was granted a new trial. She ultimately pleads guilty to a single charge of disorderly conduct and was fined $100 and lost her teaching credentials.
One account of the trial is here:
Discuss: What were some of the questionable forensic findings of which the prosecution’s expert witness testified? What went wrong in this case, and how can this near-miscarriage of justice be prevented in the future?
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