It seems like one of those questions that there’s no hope in answering: “Where were you on Tuesday the 3rd at 10pm?” Thinking…thinking…thinking…do I tell these guys that I don’t know where I was this morning, let alone three weeks ago on a Tuesday. No, they’d just think I was being sarcastic. They’be be right.
Although our world is filled with technical wonders that enable us to see in the dark, send messages to one another without pen or paper, and even watch movies while driving, we haven’t come up with an alibi tool that can aid us in proving where were at such-and-such time. Thus, it is our responsibility to recall:
- Where we were on a specific date (and time)
- What we were doing on said date
- If there are corroborating witnesses to back our story
After reading Rodney Bradley’s story, it struck me that I had better figure out a method of documenting my whereabouts in some measurable method, or I could end up answering questions for which I don’t have any answers.
On October 17th, two men were mugged at gunpoint in Brooklyn, NY. Rodney Bradford, facing a 2009 robbery indictment for an unrelated case, learned that he was not only a suspect in the October 17th mugging, but the police were actively searching for him. Having absolutely nothing to fear, Bradford turned himself in, thinking that he would be quickly exonerated as a suspect and go his merry way. That’s not the way things worked out; he was identified in a police lineup, charged with first degree robbery, and was on his way to Rikers Island that afternoon.
Luckily, his father discovered that son Rodney had updated his Facebook status a minute prior to the crime. Or, he updated his status and then ran all the way to Brooklyn to commit the crime. From Harlem. No, there’s absolutely no way Rodney could have committed the crime. Thus, his attorney subpoenaed Facebook to provide documentation that would prove the account was updated from his Harlem location. It worked, and the case was thrown out of court.
Good or bad, we live in a society where our location can be determined by what cell phone tower bounced a mobile phone call, surveillance cameras exist on street corners, in businesses, and on poles in high-crime areas, and computers date stamp everything. According to attorney Jonathan Handel;
“We’re in a much more trackable world…The extent to which it means that the right people get prosecuted and the innocent get their cases dropped, that’s all the good.”
And the bad? Invasion of privacy.
One possibility, not addressed in court, is that Brandon committed the crime while an accomplice updated his Facebook page; if this is the case, we may be opening a can of worms, aka; “The Facebook Defense.”