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Comment Standard of proof (Score 2, Interesting) 586

the courts need to raise the standard for proof of this crime. Just because there is CP on a computer should not be considered enough to prove the owner of the computer put it there. Computers, especially home computers running Windows, are inherently insecure and able to operate autonomously, subject to outside control without the owners knowledge. I can't think of any other possession we are less in control of, which is probably why there is no real analogous precedent for the courts to relate to.
The courts need to require that the prosecutor can show the owner DID download the material with knowledge, not just that it was there. The requirement for proof should be something like correlating an online conversation to a request for the material or carrying it on a DVD, purchasing it with the offenders card, something that shows it could not have been automated.
There is the potential for severe miscarriages of justice with the lax standard for proof presently employed which will inevitably lead to abuse and misuse of power. Once prosecutors have a slamdunk way to leverage a confession that will use and abuse it. All they have to do in ANY case is to look for a piece of CP on the defendant's computer, even if that has nothing to do with the case. No-one wants to go to jail for that and will confess to any other crime, even if they are not guilty. Look at the present case against prosecutors for manufacturing evidence if you don't believe they would do this. "there is no freestanding right not to be framed."

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.