Digital Technology

/Digital Technology

New Evidence! Digital Innocence in Post-Conviction Review

As a defense attorney, do you have a post-conviction case involving digital evidence? Find out what impact new technology can have.   The Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative seeks to provide technical and forensic assessment and assistance for attorneys representing individuals who are convicted of crimes in which digital evidence may have or could have been a deciding factor Was a complete digital evidence case assessment conducted? Was digital evidence locked in a device or not supported at that time? Was deleted data unrecoverable at that time? Were third party apps inaccessible at that time? Was location data a component of the case? Fill out our Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative “Request for Assessment Form” to see if your case qualifies. http://bit.ly/2lYUr9N

Location Data from Previously Overlooked Cell Site Records was used to Exonerate a Man after 17 years in Jail.

In 2000, teenager Vernon Horn was convicted for a January 1999 robbery and murder at a New Haven, CT neighborhood convenience store.  The primary evidence allegedly linking Vernon Horn to the crime scene was a record of calls made from a cell phone stolen during the robbery.  The State had no physical evidence linking Vernon Horn to the crime scene. 17 years later cell site records were used to set aside the conviction.  Those records were located in the basement of a retired police detective and had never been disclosed to the defense. New evaluation of the cell phone call record established that, based on the location of the cell phone at the time of the calls, combined with which cell site towers they used, Vernon Horn could not have committed the robbery and homicide.  The new evaluation showed the first call was made from Bridgeport, CT while Vernon Horn was in New Haven, CT speaking with a police officer.  The cell site evidence also showed all five of the phone calls in question were made from Bridgeport. The physical address of each cell site and its orientation could have been obtained by the original defense team at the time simply by requesting that information through a subpoena to the cellular service provider, specifically the call detail and cell site records.  This case is a good example of the need for early assessment and collection cellular service provider records and the need for defense teams to have an up-to-date cellular service provider subpoena guide and retention schedule. See IRIS LLC Post http://bit.ly/2GgZpG7  See Newspaper Article http://bit.ly/2KKw5ep Information and tools to aid Public Defenders in pre-trial or post-conviction cases can be found through The Digital Evidence Innocence [...]

Finding Innocence with Digital Evidence

Digital Evidence, just like DNA evidence can prove innocence. And just like DNA evidence, it’s imperative to know how to locate the sources of digital evidence. On May 5, 2017, the Prosecutor in the case said there was an issue with the witness identification of Anthony Christiana as the gunman in the case; therefore, the Prosecutor dropped the murder charges against Christiana in the murder of William Prieto. IRIS LLC investigators discovered digital evidence which contradicted the eyewitness statement that said that the man that killed Prieto was clean shaven.  An IRIS LLC digital forensics examiner was able to extract a photo from a cell phone owned by Christiana’s girlfriend, and that photo, showing Christiana with facial hair, had been taken 14 hours after the murder proving Christiana did not fit the eyewitness’s description of the murderer.  Read Article http://bit.ly/31XsS1a Managing time-sensitive digital evidence can be tricky, and digital forensic experts should be involved as early as possible, but defense teams need to address digital evidence as soon as the case is put in their hands, otherwise valuable evidence may be lost due. The Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative http://bit.ly/2X2k5LD , along with the IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method http://bit.ly/2JYiEqz, a tool to help manage the sometimes overwhelming amount of digital evidence found, are here to assist Public Defenders in proving a client’s innocence.

State Drops Murder Charge In Hartford Killing: Digital Evidence Proves Innocence

The Case of Anthony Christiana A photo located on a cell phone that had been taken 14 hours after a murder was the key in exonerating a man of murder.  The story began with the killing of William Prieto on August 31, 2015.  A key witness in the case stated that a clean shaven man was the gunman who killed Prieto. Anthony Christiana was then charged with his murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and criminal possession of a firearm. IRIS LLC defense investigators for Attorney Glenn Conway located an old cell phone and forensically extracted in which a photo was located that had been taken approximately 14 hours after the murder showing a picture of the accused with a mustache and goatee. Read Article http://bit.ly/31XsS1a More and more digital evidence is being generated every day on all sorts of electronic devices, and being able to locate, access and interpret this time-sensitive data can make or break a criminal defense case. To assist Public Defenders in pre-trial or post-conviction cases is The Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative http://bit.ly/2X2k5LD , as well as, the IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method http://bit.ly/2JYiEqz, a tool to assist in the collection and organization of digital evidence.

ICYMI: CT Man Jailed for 17 Years, Exonerated Thanks to Digital Evidence

New Haven, CT man who served 17 years in prison for murder and robbery was freed back on April 25, 2018 after he was exonerated by cellphone records. Read Article The digital evidence is out there to save more lives, but defense teams may not be as educated as the prosecution, who have access to state labs, as to what to look for, where to look for, and how to obtain all the necessary digital evidence needed to prevent or exonerate wrongful convictions. #innocenceproject #wrongfulconvictions #publicdefender #digitalevidence #digitalinnocence For further information see: Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method and Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative White Paper

Digital Innocence:  Accessing Locked Mobile Devices

Locked cell phones that were at one time inaccessible can now be unlocked using the latest digital forensic technology.  There is often a lag time between the creation of new technology and the digital forensic community’s ability to analyze it.  In 2015, digital forensic capabilities took a giant leap forward with the ability to unlock many cell phones that previously were not accessible.  Digital evidence contained in some locked cell phones prior to 2015 can now be recovered using new technology. 

Digital Innocence: Google Timeline Location Data

Google Timeline, launched in 2015, is a feature that contains location history and can establish that a user was located at a particular place and time. Google Timeline is a potential source of exculpatory evidence for criminal defense cases and wrongful conviction cases.  Google collects location data from a user’s mobile device if they have a Google account and location services are enabled. This data is captured even while the device is idle.  Android users are prompted to set up a Google account upon activation of their new mobile device and Apple iPhone users can also add a Gmail account to their device.  This location data could exist since the creation of the account.  Per Google, this information is derived from GPS data, cell site/cell tower information, and Wi-Fi access points. Google collects this data whenever one of their services is activated and/or whenever there is an event on the mobile device such as a phone call, text messages, internet access, or email access. Google information can also contain Gmail, photos and videos, search history, contacts, applications, other connected devices, Google Voice and Google Wallet. Google’s Timeline feature allows criminal defense attorneys and investigators to obtain detailed information about where someone has been – down to the longitude and latitude – over the course of YEARS. Additional information found here Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method White Paper and here IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Toolbox: Location Data  

Digital Innocence: Data Recovery from Third-Party Mobile Applications

Finding New Evidence from Third-Party Mobile Apps with the Latest Technology At the beginning of 2019, the Google Play store had approximately 2,100,000 applications for Android and the iTunes store had almost 1,800,000 apps for Apple devices.  While most of the applications installed by the device manufacturer are supported for analysis by forensic software, many of the third-party applications are not.  Exculpatory evidence could be contained in these third-party mobile apps. Commonly used third-party applications such as free texting apps or navigation apps can be a great source of information, but are not always supported by forensic tools for analysis.  There is a time lag as to when the forensic software can decode these applications, if ever.  However, advanced analysis methods and new digital forensic technology to access and examine third-party applications are created every day.  Applying this technology to older cases may uncover new digital evidence. Additional information here Digital Evidence Case Assessment Method White Paper or here IRIS LLC Digital Evidence Toolbox-Location Data

Digital Innocence: Levels of Data Recovery for Mobile Forensics

Advances in digital forensic technology provides a deeper access to mobile device data. New technology can extract deleted data from cell phones that were previously inaccessible.  It is important to know the difference between the mobile device forensic extraction levels because each one can recover a different amount of data. A logical extraction obtains the least amount of data. A file system extraction obtains the database files which can recover data that has been deleted. A physical extraction will copy the entire device memory and will recover the most data including unallocated space which can contain deleted data. Not all mobile devices are supported for every level of extraction, but updates to forensic software are released often.  If you had a case involving a mobile device that was only supported for logical extraction, new technology may now be able to access the area where deleted data can be found. Digital forensic experts can quickly determine when new technology updates were released and from that, determine what data can be recovered based off the make and model and operating system of the mobile device. Additional information here Digital Evidence Innocence Initiative White Paper and IRIS LLC Toolbox-Mobile Device Forensics Summary and IRIS LLC Cellebrite Report Quick Start Guide