The Internet Predator Verdict Is In . . . GUILTY! Is this the Start of a New Internet Policing Era?

The most important issue highlighted in this case is one of boundaries. Specifically, where do jurisdictional boundaries fall when dealing with such a universal tool as the internet. Melchert-Dinkel lives in Minnesota, but his victims were from Canada and England. His defense attorney tried to get the case dismissed on these grounds, arguing that the defendant couldn’t be charged under MN statutes since his alleged victims were from other countries.

The judge has rejected this argument. The result has strong implications for all internet foul play. From now on, it can be argued that activity on the internet transcends national borders and jurisdictions.

Avery Appelman, Criminal Trial Lawyer, Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN

Through what has been referred to as the most extensive media coverage of the William Melchert-Dinkel case anywhere, we have attempted to examine the complexities of what is without a doubt one of the most important trials to date in terms of establishing legal boundaries of conduct within the virtual realms of the Internet.

Despite the bench delivered verdict of guilty, the story is far from over as an appeal to the Appellate Court was a foregone conclusion the moment that Melchert-Dinkel defense lawyer Terry Watkins entered the Lothenbach Plea.  This being said the judge’s decision is momentous in that it represents a bridge of accountability between two worlds that while running parallel to one another have been generally viewed as being distinctly unique and separate.

In yesterday’s post I wrote that at least for the moment, the Melchert-Dinkel verdict connects us with our humanity that has far too often been lost in the contentiousness of a world that seems to be at odds with itself.  But one question that stands out is whether the ruling in the Serial Suicide Killer’s case heralds a new era in policing the Internet?

Joining me this Saturday evening at 9:00 PM EDT to discuss the guilty verdict as well as its far reaching consequences is a guest panel that includes TV’s Cop Doc, Dr. Richard Weinblatt and Nancy Grace regular, criminal profiler Pat Brown.

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