On March 25, 2013, Youth Radio broadcast its interview with YLC Staff Attorney Sue Burrell on “The Growing Role of Social Media in Juvenile Courts” on KPFA radio Youth Radio reporter Sayre Quevedo developed the segment to highlight the immense impact of social media in the recent Steubenville rape case in which two high school football players were found guilty of raping an intoxicated teenage girl during a night of partying.
Because the young woman could not remember what happened, the case was filed based on texts, tweets, Facebook postings, and Instagram photos. Social media also played a role in bringing the case to public attention, when bloggers claimed that there was a cover-up designed to protect the football team. One of the youth charged in the case was also found guilty of “child pornography” for sending a photo of the victim partially clothed. The visual record in the case created indelible images that were difficult to dispel. Sue was interviewed about the increased role of social media in investigating and prosecuting juvenile court cases, and about the positive and negative changes this brings to the justice system.