back to article Palin's email snooper sent to prison

The man convicted of breaking into Sarah Palin's personal email account has been sent to prison – despite the judge's recommendation that he serve his sentence in a halfway house. David Kernell, a 23-year-old former University of Tennessee student, was sentenced to 366 days in November. He used publicly available information …


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  1. maclovinz

    Bureau of Repub-ah...Prisons

    Of course the system that make so much money containing people is going to say OK to jailing someone. A system that is so obviously Republican in nature.

    And, since when does the Bureau of Prisons have the final word in any court case? WTF? Maybe I don't understand my own country's laws anymore?

    He should have just said he saw it written on her hand on TV during an interview.

    Sigh, way to go "my country"....

    1. Flybert

      oh come on ..

      the prison system scam in our country has no party .. california has the largest, most bloated, highest cost prison scam in the country, and it's state legislature has been dominated by the dems as long as I can remember

      republicans and democrats are just 2 sides of the same overreaching and increasingly corporate state-ism

      1. maclovinz

        True, I spout crap every once in a while

        I know it's just the "other half" of the same. It's absurd the way things are run here...and everywhere, to be honest It's just that the louder crazy ones are from the right-side, it seems.

        One side stonewalls the other.

        And so it goes...


  2. Steven Hunter

    Ashland, KY?

    I thought that the Constitution forbade cruel and unusual punishments?

    Poor bastard.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge


      You mean we have a Constitution? This is a country of **laws**?!?

      Who knew?

    2. Annihilator Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Ashland, KY?

      KY will unfortunately be a luxury he will be without while dropping the soap :-(

      An effing disgrace that this man was even charged, let alone convicted or jailed.

    3. Chris 244

      Nothing unusual... happens all the time.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      I thought that the Constitution forbade cruel and unusual punishments?

      I thought it made them compulsory.

      Everything from capital punishment down to the way the as-yet-untried guy who allegedly fed Wikkileaks with their cables. Not to even mention waterboarding.

      In fact, I thought the USA *specialised* in this stuff?

      1. Framitz

        I thought that the Constitution forbade cruel and unusual . . .

        The punishment would have been cruel and unusual if he had been forced to share a cell with Palin, but unfortunately the wrong person is going to prison.

        I bet he serves 60 days or less.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Jean-Luc
      Thumb Down

      @Tea Party

      How anyone takes Palin seriously is a puzzle to me, true.

      But, IMHO, she thrives on people like you. Comparing her to Osama is so extreme that it makes her critics look like loonies. This reinforces her fans' views that they are being persecuted by US-haters and liberal wing nuts.

      This type of controversy allows her to sidestep the issue that she has not proposed much in terms of policies or solutions, has limited experience, couldn't even complete the mandate she was elected for in Alaska and that she remains Obama's biggest hope for 2012.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Jean-Luc
          Thumb Down

          Foaming makes one's valid points look foolish.

          One step at a time.

          #1 - Palin is unqualified to be President.

          She has made a ton of stupid comments that should see her booted out of politics. Additionally, she fosters intolerance in the worst way.

          There, happy?

          But, in a democracy, to avoid her you have to convince enough of her supporters to leave her. Otherwise they will vote for her.

          #2 Bin Laden is about the same moral league as Hitler IMHO.

          Palin has the potential to make the US go into even stupider adventures than Bush. But only the potential. She is not a mass murderer, regardless of her opinions, so a comparison to Bin Laden is silly. Though she would have nukes at her disposal if Prez.

          If you tell one of her supporters that she's like Bin Laden, you certainly please yourself with your rhetoric. You will also get her supporter to actively ignore any other valid points you might come up with, so there will be little opportunity to argue that person out of voting for her.

          Her constituency is people who think they are disfranchised by regular politicians and regular voters. Telling them she's Bin Laden #2 reinforces their opinion that mainstream politicians and voters are useless. You make her the underdog, which is what she wants.

          Come on, it's not like it's so difficult to poke holes in her resume. Start with how she dumped Alaska to concentrate on being electable in 2012. Nice, honorable behavior. Dinosaurs? Stay out of that - her voters probably think they don't exist either.

    2. thecakeis(not)alie

      Hear m**herf**king hear!

      And to hell with the downvoters.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        I guess I'm going to hell...

        ...but I'm downvoting you anyway!

    3. Jedit

      You missed one

      Based on the available evidence, it's fairly obvious that neither the Republicans nor the Taliban like to see signs of intelligence or education in their women.

      1. Tom 13

        And that would explain Nikki Haley or Jeane Kirkpatrick how exactly?

        Yeah, I know. You had your mid replaced years ago and can't adapt to actual input from the real world.

  4. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Got it!

    So next time some scumbag breaks into my GMail account I can have him carted off to clinky then? Sorry? Oh you have to be someone famous or a high-up government official, gotcha!

    The Soviet era ideals of those in charge getting all the perks, are alive and well in the US as ever they were!

    1. Tom 35

      Year and a day

      The scumbag could break into your house and would not see jail time (assuming the cops bothered to look for them).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    David Kernell family

    Didn't David Kernell have close family connection who are in the political game?

  6. Turtle


    Well I am surprised, because he is the son of a (locally) important politician, and it seems that his father's influence did not have the effect that I am sure both father and son wanted it to have.

    Even if I didn't think that accessing someone's email account and publicizing its content in order to influence an election should be punished by a prison sentence, the choice between having someone get off because of his father's influence, or serving a prison sentence even if just to show that his father was *not* able to use his influence, has only one really acceptable resolution: send him to prison.

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Sarah Palin is an idiot

    I can't for the life of me understand why anyone pays attention to that woman.

    (Was gonna use Paris for the icon, but she has a good 30 IQ points on Caribou Barbie.)

    1. Eeep !
      Thumb Up

      Title smitle

      But as US politics has shown, it's the the people behind the popular idiots that we have to worry about :(

    2. breakfast
      Thumb Down

      I was thinking that

      She just seemed like a joke to me as well, another crazy introverted right-wing extremist in a country already packed to the gills with religious nutbars.

      But last weekend got me thinking and then got me reading. Take a look at the way the Tea Party are working, the rhetoric and methods they use. Use 1930s Germany as your core point of reference. I'm not going to tell anyone what to think about that, just look at the way the organisation operates and the things they say, then draw your own conclusions.

      If they're a joke it's not a funny one, not at all.

      But at least she draws attention to it I guess by referencing blood libel.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        I can't believe...

        You are comparing the Nazi party to the Tea Party ...

        ... the Nazi party to the Nationalist facing Tea party ...

        ... The National Tea party ...

        ... Nats Tea Party in America.

        I'm mean they are not remotely alike.

  8. bexley


    yup, thats a Constitution with several 'ammendments'

    Just change it when it no longer suites the people in charge.

    A year in prison for this beggars belief, hopefully he will appeal and get a more appropriate punishment, one that teaches him right from wrong, not how to survive in prison.

    All he;s going to learn is how cruel people can be and to

    A: fight his way out of everything

    B: Get ass raped a lot

    Put him in a half way house and make him work for free helping people.

  9. Chris Hatfield

    If someone causes embarrassment, they will be punished

    This is a fucking travesty of justice; utterly disgraceful.

    What this kid (effectively, he's a kid) was reveal how airhead Palin was using Yahoo! mail for Government Business.

    He caused embarrassment to the airhead Palin, and she's pulling all the strings she can. She used fucking Yahoo! Mail for official Government business. That ought to be a sackable offense itself.

    A 366 day sentence is way over-the-top. Even a 3 day sentence would be too much. This needs to be reduced. He should not be under the same roof as rapists and murderers. It's sick.

    I have zero respect for Sarah Palin or any of her supporters; I consider them all to be stupid or scum. I wish them nothing but ill.

    Also, there is no god, so grow up.

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    "blood libel"

    Very clever - it's an excellent misdirection so that the liberals are now all talking about the Jews and not about her previous statements that appear to advocate violence as a political statement.

    In other news, here is the latest Arizona Football result - 1st amendment FC nill, 2nd amendment FC six - the 2nd amendment moves on to the next round, a 9mm 115 Grain, Full Metal Jacket.

    1. Jedit

      It's not libel...

      ... if it's true.

  11. Anonymous John

    "Suggested" and "indicated"

    According to the BBC report. I don't know about the US, but a UK judge has no say in which type of prison is selected. A federal prison seems excessive to me though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Remember Watergate?

    Prepare your thumbs.

    #1: I think Palin is the most frightening thing to happen to US politics in a long time.

    that said

    #2: I think anybody who tries to influence an election by theft, of any kind, against any politician of any stripe, needs to be sent away as an example.

    Those defending this person's actions should consider how they view the Watergate burglar's actions of the Nixon era. They were attempting to do physically what this person was attempting to do electronically; get private information about a candidate for high US office.

    It doesn't matter whether the door is locked or not, the act is dirty politics and should be viewed as such by anybody interested in fairness over partisanship.

    I'll help you all by giving myself the first thumbs down.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Palin isn't a candidate for anything.

      She hasn't announced she is running for any office, high or otherwise.

      She is nothing more than a Fox News drone and the Tea Party's pet fearmonger.

      She's basically a female Glenn Beck.

      1. ricegf2


        The Vice President of the US isn't "any office, high or otherwise"? It may not be worth a warm bucket of spit (to coin a phrase), but I'm afraid she was most definitely a candidate for the office that is one heartbeat away from the president at the time of the offense.

        But this comment is as ludicrous as most others here - hate-filled rhetoric complaining that Ms. Palin is using hate-filled rhetoric. Check the mirror, bubs.


  13. Martin Budden Bronze badge

    Palin was a candidate at the time of the offence

    Sarah Palin was a candidate at the time of the offence, it happened in the weeks before the 2008 election.

    I don't like Palin, and I also don't like anyone trying to influence elections by illegal means.

  14. JaitcH

    Hardly surprising ... the Bureau of Prisons could have even freed him with a GPS locator

    The Bureau of Prisons attitude is that once the judge has finished the body belongs to them - the only way to change it is to use the court system.

    What surprises me more is that a deal wasn't set up before hand, but maybe they thought the judge had fixed it.

    There is no good time early release in the U.S. Federal sentences.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some folks can't deal with reality

    Some folks can't deal with reality. The hacker got caught and is being punished as all hackers should be with prison time. Hating on Palin or the Tea Party or blaming them for the acts of criminals who can't live within the laws of society is futile. The lastest U.S. elections proved people are unhappy with the criminals in power so expect more changes. Hating doesn't change reality.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Some folks can't deal with reality

      It's true - so why do you do it so much? Eh? Eh?

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    *why* a year and a day?

    This seems to have some special importance in US law.

    I 'm betting something to do with disclosure of a prison record.

    He made a politician *look* an idiot which (to politicians) is *much* more important than being one.

    Bad day for US justice.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      It's because of Steeleye Span

      "All around my hat I will wear a green ribbon for one year and a day"

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Steelyeye Span! Yeah!!

        Actually, it was "for a twelvemonth and a day"

        You Brits do have a quaint way with words (sometimes)...

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      It's where you go:

      IIRC, if the sentence is for <= one year (365 days, even in a leap year), then you go to "jail" (or "gaol" for the UK-spelling impared ;-) ). Greater than that, and it's off to "prison".

      (I hope never to find out exactly what the difference is...)

      I also recall something about the difference between a misdemeanor and felony that broke along the same lines...

  17. James Woods

    have to agree

    When people try to take a peek at obamas 'private' information it's a war. Nobody knows anything about the president yet a potential vice president was treated poorly.

    I don't understand theregister slam of Palin reading off a 'que'.

    The president we have got into office from teleprompters. I'll give this one a pass since theregister is .uk and we know what the UK is.

    I'll agree that she never should of been using a free email service to begin wtih but when push comes to shove if it were to of happened to anyone else in government im sure things would of been handled more seriously.

    1. Magnus_Pym


      I think the problem was the perceived quality of her reading from the autoque not the reading per se. Also thanks for including me in your aside but I'm not sure I do 'know what the UK is'. Can you please tell me.

      Also when push comes to shove some people will use their own reading of a hypothetical situation to back up a weak argument.

  18. Apocalypse Later


    Palin will be president, not in spite of the liberal media constantly attacking her, but in large part because of it. The liberal elite are frightened of her and the people she champions, and voters take that in every time she is attacked. She is the one. The liberals say so. Their hatred is the best endorsement she could have.

    I have no sympathy for the guy who got himself jailed. The example will be a good deterrent next time someone wants to show off how clever he is at someone else's expense. It was the showing off aspect that got him caught, and it illustrates how dumb apparently bright people can be.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality Check: Palin *should* be the one to see a jail cell.

    As has already been pointed out, She used yahoo for government work after being told specifically not to, She went forth and did it anyway, then got exposed just before the presidential election.

    She's a walking talking security incident looking for a place to happen. From that alone she ought be disqualified for ANY government position. She couldn't obey simple rules for government work, We can only imagine how poorly She would handle actual classified material. She should be banned from accessing any classified vault, network, or papers, banned from contracting for the government, or working for government contractors. In short Her clueless, carelessness/ignorance and care free attitude ought to ban her from life of ever having anything to do with the government.

    Since then her facebook (sic) has been hacked as well.

    And yeah, I live in, and was born in, and served the military for the USA, I am also programmer, sysad, network tech, electronics tech, so you can't say I don't know what I am talking about! If it was You caught, they would have RUINED Your life!!! The only problem here, is the fascist system the usa now operates under, no longer cares what the truth is, only if if fits the current agenda.

    And yeah, Obama ought to be FORCED to show his birth certificate. But that ain't happening either.

    See in the US now, the good people, the honest ones get fscked, the bad people, the treasonous, the thieves get promotions. Small crime say robbing a bank with a gun, is prosecuted, while stealing trillions isn't. This is because treasonous oath breakers now run the show.

    Now let's explain the prison system. Basically once your in, they can do whatever they want with you. Let's just say hypothetically the halfway house burned down from a freak fire, then you would be imprisoned elsewhere, if you have money and power, you could try to fight it (a separate legal battle), but meanwhile you go where they put you, end of discussion.

    And finally to those who say the reg takes this or that position, I call bunk on that too. El Reg simply provided the story, the position is neutral.

  20. Hud Dunlap

    editorializing again

    The article was very good until you decided to slip your politics into a news article.

    Palin was back in the news yesterday after posting bizarre footage of herself clumsily reading from an autocue in response to the Arizona shootings. Her speechwriters' inclusion of the phrase "blood libel" has also been criticised. ®

  21. Michael Wojcik Silver badge


    The US legal system is completely off its collective rocker. Just think of that poor chap "sentenced to 366 days in November". There are only 30 days in November! It'll take him more than a dozen years to finish.

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