Someone Stop The World…
… I want to get off:
A substitute teacher in Norwich, Connecticut with no prior criminal record could get 40 years in prison for exposing a middle school class to pornography. She apparently was using the computer in front of students when a loop of pop-up ads for porn sites began to appear. The loops only intensified as she tried to close out the ads. The woman made the plausible defense that some sort of adware or malware on her computer caused the pop-up ads to appear.
Leaving aside the stunning fact that you can apparently get 40 years for showing vanilla porn to a bunch of teenagers – the woman’s explanation isn’t plausible, it’s obvious. The batshit-insane alternative is that a 40 year old woman with no prior criminal record suddenly decided it would be a fabulous idea to show porn to her class, and then the sites she visited then coincidentally began spawning infinite popups. The case is so prima facie absurd that it should have been laughed out of court. But luckily for the prosecution, they had an “expert witness”:
On a projected image of the list of Web sites visited while Amero was working, Lounsbury pointed out several highlighted links.
“You have to physically click on it to get to those sites,” Smith said. “I think the evidence is overwhelming that she did intend to access those Web sites.”
In other words, this guy was testifying that highlighted links are evidence that that specific link was clicked, rather than simply evidence that the browser has previously visited the destination site. This is beyond jaw-dropping and into criminally incompetent. The witness should be prosecuted for that testimony.