In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Recently a Pleasanton teen who killed a bicyclist while speeding was charged with murder, prosecutors having considered his Twitter feed, which boasted about his speeding, along with his driving history and his driving the day of the fatal crash. Considering one's social media posts have become more common in legal matters these days, do you agree that such posts should be looked at when considering charges?
YES, I THINK they should be considered, as they indicate possible guilt, in bragging boasts.
However, this situation also has to be looked at closely, to make sure there is no conflict with any previous case law, which appellate courts closely consider in the event of any appeals. For a conviction, specifically with murder cases, there has to be complete evidence of malice and aforethought in the commission of the crime.
I FULLY AGREE that publicly posted social media information should be used when considering charges, especially the murder charges contemplated in the example case.
They should also check the teen's head for stupidity in light of his revealed dumb postings that relate to the crime(s) involved. Thrill seeking and bragging by youth is unacceptable conduct in any case. I am commenting this way using your example case, which it seems included an unnecessary death at the hands of an alleged irresponsible and immature teen. There are enough vehicular -related deaths already and this type of teen driver should have been stopped and prevented from driving much more before the events described. This teen's youth was wasted on him!
Ralph A. Hernandez
YES, BECAUSE THEY indicate the person's state of mind at the time of the incident. There are always consequences for any action.
Stupidity, ignorance and bad luck are the three most common contributors to an unfavorable outcome of any ill- conceived activity. And, there is a price to be paid and there are always at least two folks who pay and will pay that price. The victim and the perpetrator. Sad situation, but I believe we need more courses in rational thinking in schools to at least make young folks aware that there are always consequences to their actions. Think before you act!
YES, WHAT YOU put in public is public knowledge for public consumption. Own up to what you post, tweet and say. Be responsible!
Lisa Coleman Bramblet
IT CLEARLY SHOWS someone's state of mind, intentions or opinions. None of which can be expected to be private, since it is being posted for the world to see.
YES, I WOULD consider it evidence. He clearly doesn't care too much about the consequences of his choices if he's putting himself on blast for the world to see. Either that, or he's too ignorant to realize what he's doing.
Claire Hayes Burr
This week's question:
Do you see any difference when driving east now that the new interchange is open on the Highway 4 bypass and Sand Creek Road in Brentwood?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.