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TCLE Executive Director Jonathan Smaby says Technology, Law Clash in Twitter Contempt Case
July 31, 2012 8:24 am

Upset with plea bargains offered to two teenagers who sexually assaulted her, a Kentucky high school student was hit with contempt charges this week after violating a court order by posting the names of her attackers on Twitter. The assailants' attorneys withdrew the motion after the media reported the story. Jonathan Smaby, executive director of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and author of TCLE's "On the Merits" blog, says this is another example of growing conflicts between technology and the law. "Courts that handle cases involving juveniles routinely order that no one discuss the case because of the potential harm to both the victims and defendants. It's a means of trying to protect the young people who become involved in the criminal justice system, and it typically works well," Smaby says. "In this case, we're seeing how the Internet has changed the playing field." For more information, contact Bruce Vincent at 800-559-4534 or

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