Teacher gets new trial in spyware case

Julie Amero, a substitute teacher convicted of downloading pornography in a classroom computer, will get a new trial. The judge ruled the prosecution’s expert witness presented erroneous information. Amero was assigned to a classroom with a computer infected with spyware; she didn’t know how to turn off pornographic pop-ups. Amero had faced up to 40 years in prison.

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  1. This type of spyware is very common. You would have a hard time convincing me that the ISD and DA were not informed of this issue. It seems to me that they deliberatly made the choice to ruin this womans life rather than admit error. This is not much different than the Duke case. Heads need to roll on this.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I would hate to be held to account for the stuff that pops up on my screen. One porn site in particular that hangs on until completely loaded. I agree – if this lady sues the “expert” witness and I’m on the jury, she walks out rich.

  3. Does anyone know if a new trial is the only way that her name can be cleared? Perhaps the prosecutor understands now how wrong he was and once prosecuted a new trial is the only way to clear her name.

    I’d also like to hear interviews with the original jurors after new evidence is presented in the second trial and she’s found not guilty.

  4. Her name will NEVER be cleared – to be charged is to be guilty. Once something like this happens your professional life is ruined for all time, and, in most cases, your personal life is gone also. That’s why ambitious DAs are so scary. She almost has to go for a big lawsuit.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Just one question – PC or MAC?

  6. The computer had spyware, outdated protection software, and porn. Many say it wasn’t the teacher’s fault, but that doesn’t matter. If children are exposed to porn, it doesn’t matter whether or not it was intentional, there must be punishment. For the children, you know.

    Yes. Certainly. Of course. Sure.

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Arrest Jobs and Gates!

  8. I’m happy she is getting a new trial. The question I have now is, was there really nobody on the original jury that knew enough about computers to apply a sniff test to the evidence? If not, why not? I hope there’s a few like that on her new jury, assuming it does come to trial.

  9. Bruce Lagasse says:

    Steve – “The question I have now is, was there really nobody on the original jury that knew enough about computers to apply a sniff test to the evidence?”

    If there were any such people in the original jury pool, they were probably dismissed on peremptory challenges by the DA. (Or hell, maybe dismissed for cause.)

  10. The DA should be jailed. There is no excuse for such gross incompetence. No matter what this womans life is ruined.

  11. Walter E. Wallis says:

    “…was there really nobody on the original jury that knew enough about computers to apply a sniff test to the evidence?”
    Alas, with the current stupid jury rules now in effect you are told that nothing you know or that you hear other than in the courtroom has any relevence. All you are allowe to consider is what the judge allows you to know.
    Based on my observations most judges are not very bright, and some judges are not even aware they are not very bright. I think 7 years is the maximum time anyone should carry the power of judge.

  12. Alex Bensky says:

    I am a former substitute teacher and this case is chilling.

    I do have to make one point: it appears that the stuff came up on the computer when she left the classrom to go to the bathroom. It’s possible it was an emergency and there was no way to call the office. But generally–and I substituted in a couple of quige decent systems–I would never leave the room unattended unless it was vital to do so and I knew the class very, very well.

    That said, it seems unchallenged that when she returned the teacher did her best to get rid of the stuff. I would love to find out why the jury convicted her.

    One of the things that chills me is that this woman’s life and career have been absolutely ruined–and quite probably her funds depleted unless she’s able to make a very good civil case–because some students who were more computer savvy than she decided to play a trick on her. Has anyone so much as mentioned to the students the cruelty and downright viciousness of their acts?

    I’d be willing to bet that no, indeed no one has mentioned to the students their culpability in destroying this woman’s well-being.

  13. Walter E. Wallis says:

    In “Games People Play”, “Now I’ve got you, you son of a bitch.”

  14. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I have some friends I would like to have spend 5 minutes with that DA’s laptop.