Computer Forensics Computers Data Analysis Chapter

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Computer Forensics

Computers and the associated dimension and craft of computer forensics has allowed for the collection for of direct and circumstantial evidence that was not possible or realizable before. However, now that the technical revolution is upon us, the evidence that can be extracted, even from things like damaged hard drives that people tried to destroy and the email/traffic logs of internet service providers (ISP's) has made it more and more difficult for people, criminals or not, to cover their tracks in the digital world. Two cases that exemplified the upsides and downsides of using digitally made and collected evidence were the trials of Casey Anthony and John Deutch. While the world of digital forensics works in great favor of the police and prosecuting attorneys, it is nto a panacea and can actually backfire or otherwise not work out for law enforcement and for a number of reasons.

The Casey Anthony Case

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The Casey Anthony case achieved some of the notoriety largely not seen in the media and public spheres since the OJ Simpson case in the 1990's. Another similar case was the Scott Petersen murder case in which Scott Petersen was accused of murdering his life and dumping her off his fishing boat over the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately for the prosecutors of the Casey Anthony case, while the case against Casey was very much circumstantial like it was against Scott Petersen, the outcome ended up being against the prosecution unlike what turned out to be the case with Mr. Peterson, who was convicted. In the end, it was decided that too much reasonable doubt existed and thus Casey Anthony could not be convicted, not unlike what happened with George Zimmerman. No one doubted that Mr. Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin but the forensic evidence seemed to indicate that Zimmerman was being accosted by Martin at the time of the fatal shot, so the legal burden for murder or manslaughter could not be imposed against Zimmerman and there were no direct witnesses that could attest as to who the aggressor was at the time of the shot.

TOPIC: Data Analysis Chapter on Computer Forensics Computers and the Assignment

The case against Casey Anthony was much more ambiguous and hard to prove. There was the problem for Anthony of the cadaver dog finding a sent in a car trunk and the fact that the allegation against the strange woman turned out to have little to no evidence behind it. There was also Ms. Anthony's apparent ambivalence towards her responsibility as a parent in favor of living out the phrased tattooed on her body, "Bella Vita" which translates from Italian to "Beautiful Life" that she actually got while young Caylee Anthony was missing and several other circumstantial facts (Mann, 2011). The problem, and the reason Anthony got acquitted, is that the case was too circumstantial and while the digital forensics damned her, there was not a lot of physical forensics that proved anything, or at least did not prove that she was the person that perpetrated Caylee's death.

In the end, the inability to find Caylee's body in a timely fashion led to the chain of events and the freshness of people's recollections about the nature of the scene including who was there and when probably did more to get Casey Anthony acquitted more than anything else. Casey's depraved indifference to her missing (and eventually proven to be dead) daughter and the behavior that she engaged in while Caylee was missing and after she was found is probably enough in many people's minds to convict her. Unfortunately, putting away for life or damning them to the lethal injection needle requires a very high bar of proof and that burden was simply not met during the Casey Anthon trial.

The Case of John Deutch

The case of John Deutch is quite different than the Casey Anthony case for a number of important reasons. First,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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