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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MySpace anti-snitch comment treated as threat

An appellate court in Maryland has ruled that a comment on the defendant's girlfriend's MySpace page was properly admitted at his murder trial. The comment read: "Free Boozy!!! Just remember snitches get stitches!! U know who you are!!" Daily Record story here. The comment was proffered by the government to explain why a key witness had failed to identify the defendant at a previous trial. The decision is significant for a number of reasons. For example, it shows how comments made on social networking sites by friends and family may be admissible against defendants. It also elevates common phrases such as "snitches get stitches" and "no snitching" and potentially even rap lyrics to the status of specific threat. For a more general discussion of the use of rap lyrics against defendants, see this post: ""Stop Snitching" rap song on YouTube leads to convictions."