12 Angry Computers: Court Cases with Hard Drives as Witnesses

How hard drives prove to be irrefutable witnesses in court cases.

In the late 1950s, a movie entitled, 12 Angry Men made a popular screen appearance. Based on a jury trial, which could lead to a death sentence if the accused was proven guilty, the judge reminded the jurors, “If there's a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused, a reasonable doubt, then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty. If however, there is no reasonable doubt, then you must in good conscience find the accused guilty.”

Back in those simple days, it was difficult to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt because we all know that some things are not always as they seem.

Today, in the age of computers, everything is traceable. Fortunately for those who have been wronged, proof positive often comes in the form of irrefutable evidence recovered from the computer hard drive of the accused.

Each computer tells a unique story about the habits, lives, and interests of the person who uses it. Most individuals don’t understand how computer hard drives store information, and because of this, fragments of information remain on a computer even when the individual has made attempts to get rid of it. Computers delete, but do not purge information, which basically means that most information and images can be restored. This comes in handy when motives and evidence are needed to prosecute a suspect.

According to the New York Law Journal, Computer Forensics and Data Recovery are regularly used by attorneys, businesses and law enforcement. Online crimes, such as fraud, pedophile activities, and deleted emails with incriminating evidence are only a few of the crimes that call for recovering and analyzing computer data.

Murder trials, embezzlement, and bankruptcy fraud cases have been based on and won by evidence in the form of recovered data from computer hard drives.

In June of 2007, murder convictions were upheld due to the instant messages and emails recovered. This evidence clearly discussed the plans and motives of a teenage girl and her boyfriend, who murdered the girl’s mother because of her opposition to the couple’s relationship.

In the late 1990s, SC, a contract company, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Being a billion dollar operation, investigations loomed and the company agreed to switch to a Chapter 7 case. With too many unanswered questions, the company’s computers and records were seized. An electronic data recovery firm reviewed the hard drives, recovering over 3,000 deleted files which proved fraudulent activity, embezzlement, offshore bank accounts, and other undisclosed investments. The data recovered from the company’s hard drives assisted in the recovery of over one million dollars that would have directly profited the owners in their fraudulent scheme.

With the technology and data recovery methods that we have today, anyone that uses a computer and commits a crime can be profiled and eventually convicted. Just as DNA is used in court cases today, an individual’s computer is essentially their technological DNA.

Data recovery services have the capability of supplying evidence which removes all doubt as to the intent and actions of any individual in question.

For more information about our data recovery and computer forensic service please call us toll free at 866-340-0111.
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