Barton v. State

648 S.E.2d 660 (2007)

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Barton v. State

Georgia Court of Appeals
648 S.E.2d 660 (2007)

Facts

Edward Barton (defendant) was convicted of knowingly possessing child pornography under state law. At trial, a forensic computer analyst testified that the images in question were in Barton’s computer’s temporary Internet file folder or cache. All computers automatically stored images in a temporary folder when files were viewed over the Internet, and there was nothing a computer user could do to prevent it. The files stored temporarily could come from files computer users intended to look at or from pop-up windows neither sought nor desired by the user. Nobody using Barton’s computer could have retrieved the information in the temporary files without special forensic software, and no such software was found on Barton’s computer. Although the files showed that Barton had viewed child pornography on the Internet, it did not show for how long or if Barton had intended to view the images. Barton appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, arguing that the state had failed to show that he knowingly possessed the pornographic images leading to his conviction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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