Data Loss Results in Convicted Murderer Getting a Re-trial
It has been confirmed that Randy Chavianowho, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 after being convicted of second degree murder will be given a new trial. Chavianowho, who is from Florida, USA, was found guilty of fatally shooting Carlos Acosta. Lawyers who were working on an appeal case discovered that the majority of the court transcripts from his trial could not be found.
It soon became apparent that Terlesa Cowart, the court stenograph (sic) for Chavianowho’s trial, had transferred the transcripts to her personal computer and deleted the files from the stenograph. However, Cowart’s personal computer became infected by a virus and all of the files on it were deleted, including the vital transcript notes.
Read more on Backup Technology. The data loss was previously reported on January 1 by David Ovalle of the Miami Herald and is a great example for infosec pros to use as an example of the importance of backup and what can go horribly wrong if you don’t have one.
SFJD - January 30, 2012
This is a really bad situation for the family of the victim, but justice demands that the defendant, no matter how guilty he is, gets a fair trial. We can’t be sure that that happened unless there’s a written record to refer to. I have no doubts that he’ll be re-convicted, and that this incident will be nothing but a small bump on this man’s road to a life sentence.