Forensic Analysis Of Computers Is Key: Another Lesson Learned From The Casey Anthony Prosecution
By: Douglas K. Rosenblum
On Sunday, November 25, 2012, more than 16 months after Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her two year old daughter, Caylee, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has acknowledged a glaring error in the investigation. Investigators admit that they missed an Internet search performed on the Anthony family computer on the day Caylee was last seen alive: June 16, 2008. Who performed the search is unclear, but the content is startling. Someone used the computer’s Mozilla Firefox web browser to search for “fool-proof suffcation [sic].” Investigators only analyzed the computer’s Microsoft Internet Explorer application for online searches prior to trial and overlooked the Mozilla application, which was often used by Casey Anthony.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton told Orlando television station WKMG that, “it’s just a shame we didn’t have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question.” The defense team knew about the search prior to trial, and attorney Jose Baez theorized that George Anthony, Casey’s father, conducted the Internet search in a suicidal state following Caylee’s accidental death.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has allegedly corrected their procedures and now works with the FBI and/or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on forensic analysis of computers. In the technologically driven world in which we live, and in the growing world of E-discovery in which we practice, the importance of a full and complete forensic analysis of electronic information is essential. Although this can be a very expensive process for the defense, it is of paramount importance in representing a client’s interests.
For more information on the Casey Anthony case, visit the Associated Press or http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/11/26/casey-anthony-case-detectives-overlook-crucial-google-search-evidence/