Friday, January 15, 2010

DA Violating the Due Process Rights of Arrestees by Tweeting Their Names?

"I blogged a month or so ago about plans by the Montgomery County DA's office to tweet the names of DUI arrestees.  (h/t Paul Kennedy "Drink. Drive. Tweet.")  I speculated as to whether this raised any ethical issues and overall it just struck me as a bad idea.  It turns out this may actually violate the rights of those who are arrested and whose names are tweeted. 

Someone successful
ly challenged a similar practice in New York:  Bursac v. Suozzi, 22 Misc.3d 328, 868 N.Y.S.2d 470 (Supreme Court, Nassau County New York 2008).  In Bursac, the Nassau County Executive created a wall of shame, on which it posted a photo of people who were arrested for DUIs.  Postings were accompanied by press releases.  One arrestee (against whom charges were dismissed) requested that the posting be removed and when this request was refused, sued.  The court found that the posting violated the petitioner's due process rights:"
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