May 19
9:10 AM

Cut & Paste Evidence OKed by Court

When a Miami-Dade police officer went undercover as a decoy intermediary to set up a sexual encounter with an underage girl, defendant Keith Lanzon took the bait.

Detective Clifton saved [their] online conversations by copying the instant message communications and pasting them into a Microsoft Word document. He then saved the Word document to a floppy disc [!], where the conversations could be printed in hard copy form as transcripts. Detective Clifton did not save any of the instant message conversations in their original format to his computer's hard drive, but he compared the actual instant message "chat screens" to the word processing document he had created to ensure that they exactly matched and that he had accurately recorded the conversations in their entirety.

For  the court's ruling on the admissibility of this evidence read the case, and for comments on the outcome check out EvidenceProf Blog. [RL]

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