Sarah Palin Hacker's Conviction Stands for Accessing Her Yahoo Email Account

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The college student David C. Kernell who was convicted by a Chattanooga, Tennessee jury of various federal crimes including a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) for accessing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account will be sentenced on October 29, 2010. What Kernell did was to decipher the password for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account and distribute her emails over the Internet during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Kernell moved post-verdict pursuant to Rule 29, Fed.R.Cr.P. for a judgment of acquittal on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. The trial court just last month denied Kernell’s motion finding that there was sufficient evidence to convict. U.S. v. Kernell, 2010 WL 3937421 *4-5 (E.D. Tenn. Sept. 23, 2010). What is interesting about the court’s opinion is not what it says but what it does not say.

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