An examination of State of Connecticut v. Julie Amero provides insight into how a general lack of understanding of digital evidence can cause an innocent defendant to be wrongfully convicted. By contrast, the 101-page opinion in Lorraine v. Markel American Insurance Co. provides legal precedence and a detailed consideration for the admission of digital evidence. An analysis of both cases leads the authors to recommend additions to Law School curricula designed to raise the awareness of the legal community to ensure such travesties of justice, as in the Amero case, don’t occur in the future. Work underway at the University of Washington designed to address this deficiency is discussed.


Connecticut General Statute Section 53-21(a)(1)

Cringely, Robert (2008), ‘The Julie Amero Case: A Dangerous Farce’, http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/154768/the_julie_amero_case_ a_dangerous_farce.html, PC World, December 2, 2008.

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 113 S. Ct. 2786. (1993).

Eckelberry, Alex; Glenn Dardick; Joel Folkerts; Alex Shipp; Eric Sites; Joe Stewart; Robin Stuart (2007), ‘Technical review of the Trial Testimony State of Connecticut vs. Julie Amero’, Technical Report, http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com/ihs/alex/julieamerosummary.pdf, March 21, 2007.

Endicott-Popovsky, B. and Horowitz, D. (2012). Unintended consequences: Digital evidence in our legal system. IEEE Security and Privacy. (TBD) (Endicott-Popovsky and Horowitz, 2012)

Endicott-Popovsky, B., Chee, B., & Frincke, D. A. (2007). “Calibration Testing Of Network Tap Devices”, IFIP International Conference on Digital Forensics, 3–19.

Endicott-Popovsky, B.E., Frincke, D., Popovsky, V.M. (2004), “Designing A Computer Forensics Course For an Information Assurance Track,” Proceedings of CISSE 8th Annual Colloquium.

Fed. R. Evid. 104, 401-402, 801-807, 901-902, 1001-1008

Frye v. United States. 293 F. 1013 D.C. Cir. (1923).

Kantor, Andrew (2007), ‘Police, school get failing grade in sad case of Julie Amero’, USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2007-02-22-julieamaro_x.htm, February 25, 2007.

Krebs, Brian (2008), ‘Felony Spyware/Porn Charges Against Teacher Dropped’, Washington Post, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2008/11/ct_drops_felony_spywar eporn_ch.html?nav=rss_blog, November 24, 2008.

LexisNexis (2007), ‘Lorraine v. Markel: Electronic Evidence 101’, http://www.lexisnexis.com/applieddiscovery/LawLibrary/whitePapers/ADI_W P_LorraineVMarkel.pdf Accessed February 1, 2012.

Lorraine v. Markel American Insurance Company, 241 F.R.D. 534 D.Md (2007).

NIST 800-61 Rev. 1 (2008), “Computer Security Incident Handling Guide”, National Institute of Standards and Technology, http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-61-rev1/SP800-61rev1.pdf, March 2008.

Noblett, M.G., Pollitt, M. M., & Presley, L. A. (2000). ‘Recovering and Examining Computer Forensic Evidence’ Forensic Science Communications, 2(4). http://www.fbi.gov.hq/lab/fsc/backissu/oct2000/computer.htm, October 2000.

State of Connecticut v. Christian E. Porter, 241 Conn. 57, 698 A.2d 739, (1997).

State of Connecticut v. Julie Amero Trial Testimony, (2007), Retrieved from http://drumsnwhistles.com/pdf/amero-text.zip, January 3-5, 2007.

State of Connecticut v. Julie Amero, (2008).

United States v. Branch, 970 F.2d 1368 4th Cir. (1992)

Willard, Nancy (2007), ‘The Julie Amero Tragedy’, Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet, http://csriu.org/onlinedocs/AmeroTragedy.pdf, February, 2007.





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