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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Cyber Avenging: Act of a Hero or Vigilante?

The invention of the internet has brought about a much more accessible and convenient day-to-day for most people. If you are looking to contact someone you could find them online and send a message over Facebook or an email.

Looking for the answer to a history question? You can use one of the many online search engines to find your answer.

The internet has so much to offer and has done a lot for society as a whole. But those many conveniences and seemingly endless accessibility means people can use the internet for questionable actions as well.

What is Cyber Avenging?

One of the more recent internet trends is what has come to be known as cyber avenging. This is when individuals and/or online groups (like Anonymous) use the internet to call for justice. In some cases, this justice comes in the form of community retribution for certain crimes.

A prime example of this came back in 2012 when a group of high school football players allegedly raped a girl in Ohio. The group Anonymous obtained a video of the alleged assault and shared it on YouTube where it went viral and sparked national outrage. In 2013, two of the boys ended up convicted of sexual assault and Anonymous was praised for its part in the outcome.

The internet was a big help in Anonymous being able to bring nationwide attention to the matter in Ohio. They continue to use the internet to band individuals together who are otherwise not acquainted in real life.

And while sometimes what they are advocating for or against seems to be on the morally good side, their tactics and actions can violate the law or have unintended, devastating consequences.

For instance, if these cyber avengers harass or give out information making it so others can harass or bully an alleged assailant for their actions, they could be charged with violating state anti-cyberbullying and/or harassment laws. Them publicly accusing another person of a crime, which they may or may not have committed, could also be considered defamation, another action that can expose the cyber avenger to civil damages.

In addition, these cyber avengers can end up hurting the wrong people. They might accuse an innocent party that ends up harassed or worse. Because of this, the actual guilty party could end up getting off scot-free. Their involvement can also make it so that a perpetrators prosecution gets delayed because the publicity the avengers brought about made it impossible for them to get a fair trial.

Contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer

At the end of the day, choosing to participate in cyber avenging should not be an easy decision. The best bet is to leave the law in the hands of those who have studied it and worked within the legal system for years. Contact our law firm today.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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