“As Twitter, Facebook and other forms of public electronic communication embed themselves in people’s lives, the postings, rants and messages that appear online are emerging as a new trove for the police and prosecutors to sift through after crimes. Such sites are often the first place they go.

Though social media postings have emerged only recently as an element of prosecutions, those in the legal arena are fast learning that Facebook, MySpace and Twitter can help to pin down the whereabouts of suspects and shed light on motives.

Online postings can help prosecutors establish a level of intent, or even premeditation, in sometimes crucial components of crimes.”

From The New York Times