A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Confession of a Criminal Blogger

The always-on-top-of-things DRUDGE REPORT picks up a story from the AP that a teenager has plead guilty to manslaughter after it was discovered he confessed - on his blog. The story is here

This 18 year old genius was a passenger who pulled on the steering wheel, causing a fatal crash.

He plead guilty to DUI manslaughter after prosecutors discovered a confession on his online blog.

His next blog post will not be until 2011, when he gets out of prison.

Not realizing that the blog/client communication is unlike the attorney/client communication, i.e., not privileged, and obviously thinking his on-line blog was not so popular among the prosecutors of the world, now convicted-by-his-own-keyboard Blake Ranking wrote "I did it" on his blog three days after the crash that killed his friend.

According to the article, "he had previously told investigators he remembered nothing of the crash and little of its aftermath. He should have gone to his blog to refresh his memory, or done a Google search, by typing "Blake Ranking confession I did it."

Ranking got specific: "It was me who caused it. I turned the wheel. I turned the wheel that sent us off the road, into the concrete drain ..."

Ranking later retracted his words, deleting them from the blog and penning an explanation. "People say I 'contradict' myself since I 'already admitting pulling the wheel.' I didn't 'ADMIT' anything. I went on a guilt trip, and I posted the story that I WAS TOLD . . . Nicole told me I pulled the wheel, I believed her," he wrote.

There is a lesson here, but I'll keep that to myself.

You never know who's reading, you know.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please click the link: http://www.tannebaumweiss.com/our_lawyers.php

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