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Lead Murder Suspect Goes Free Thanks to a Bad Fax

February 17, 2014

 By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

So last year I wrote about how an outdated fax could cost an NFL player his contract (yeah, it was a pretty interesting story, and you can find it here). Well, apparently old fax technology also can release a murder suspect from jail, too.

In Paris last week, the lead murder suspect in the 2010 slaying of a French DJ was released from prison after his appeal was goofed by the courts thanks to an old fax machine.

The 24-year-old suspect had faxed in his appeal to the courts, and by law the court had to respond to his appeal within 20 days.

Unfortunately, the court never saw the request because the fax machine they were using ran out of toner. The machine was so old, the staff could not even find replacement toner in time.

As a result, the suspect was let go on account of an appeal-response technicality.

The court called it a “technical error,” but the widow of the victim saw it as something else.

“This man has been freed for a problem of fax ink. I am disgusted. I don't understand how such a thing can happen,” said Fabienne Elisor, wife of the slain DJ Claudy Elisor, as reported in the New York Daily News.

"What am I going to tell my children,” she asked. “I am appalled at the attitude of the justice system to us."

This of course would not have happened if the courts had been using modern fax technology, specifically fax-over-IP (FoIP).

With a FoIP solution, the toner would not have been an issue because the appeal would have arrived electronically through email. This would have avoided the whole situation.

It also would have prevented the incoming fax from getting lost, as FoIP allows incoming faxes to automatically get routed to one or more recipients, taking much of the human error out of faxing.

The French court didn’t even need to replace its old fax machines. Using something like AudioCodes’ (News - Alert) fax ATA solution, the court could have retrofitted its existing equipment and taken advantage of the benefits of going digital.

Instead, a suspect goes free.

And here I thought a botched NFL contract was bad.

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