A dubiously titled Facebook photo has led to the imprisonment of 17-year-old Ashley Sullivan who, thanks to her Facebook photos, was refused “youthful offender” status.
Word comes from BuffaloNews that Sullivan pleaded guilty to”criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated” after a car crash that killed her boyfriend. One month later, Sullivan is reported to have gone to Florida, during which trip she uploaded photos to her Facebook page, fairly simply titled “Drunk in Florida.”
The judge in the case, Judge Matthew J. Murphy III took the Facebook posting into consideration during his ruling, saying that, “I’m troubled by your conduct since the crash… and that’s the reason for the jail sentence.”
When asked about the defendant’s “youthful offender status,” Murphy continued to say that he didn’t feel that the defendant had “earned it,” going on to point out to the defendant that, “You’re 17 years old. You’re not old enough to drink,” which fairly flatly communicates the judge’s feeling about the whole affair.
It’s certainly interesting to see someone’s Facebook profile used in a case like this, where it essentially seems to be the case that the defendant’s lack of Facebook bound remorse that led to imprisonment. Given the extent to which people are open about their various comings and goings on Facebook, it seems inevitable that we’ll hear more stories like this, but for now the fact is that most people still seem to consider their Facebook profiles to be a lot more private than they are in practice.