Silk Road Trial Leads To Emoji Becoming Evidence In Court

Silk Road Trial Leads To Emoji Becoming Evidence In Court

The trial and sentencing of the worlds' safest drug dealer is now over and the sentence isn't the only questionable outcome of the trial.

One of the key points of contention in the trial, which lawyers argued over for days, is the use of emoji as evidence.

Ross Ulbricht’s lawyers argued that the prosecutors left out critical evidence from their transcriptions of his online chats. Specifically, they did not include emoji in transcripts they presented in court.

After sparring over the issue concluded, judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that emoji are admissible as evidence in court.

Before the the ruling, the transcript presented by prosecutors simply said “emoticon” every time one was used, which led to a clear loss of meaning.

Forrest ruled that the emoticons in question were “meant to be read” and that it was important for the jury to see them.

The trial actually featured a large amount of lawyers explaining internet slang, such as “IRL” meaning “in real life”.

The decision to admit the emojis into evidence will be a lasting legacy from the trial, aside from yet another casualty of America's war on drugs.

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