David Kernell, convicted of breaking into Palin's e-mail account in 2008, has been sent to prison instead of a halfway house like a judge recommended.
The man convicted of breaking into Sarah Palin's e-mail account
during the 2008 presidential election is now serving his sentence in
prison - not a halfway house as a judge recommended.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons
David Kernell, 23, is serving his time at the Ashland Federal
Correctional Institution in Kentucky. His projected release date is
Nov. 23, 2011.
Kernell was convicted April 30, 2010, of one count of misdemeanor
unauthorized access to obtain information from a computer and one count
of obstruction of justice after a weeklong trial. He was acquitted of
wire fraud, and the jury deadlocked on a charge of identity theft. He
was sentenced in November to one year and a day.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Phillips recommended Kernell serve
his sentence at a halfway house as opposed to prison. Kernell is the
son of Tennessee state representative and Democrat Mike Kernell.
At the time of the crime, Palin was running as the Republican
candidate for vice president. She was also facing controversy in
Alaska, where she was accused of using her private e-mail to conduct
To break into Palin's account
the younger Kernell abused Yahoo's password recovery system. By
answering the security questions associated with Palin's account, he
was able to reset the password and access Palin's inbox. Afterwards, he
posted screenshots of the account to a 4chan message board, as well as
the new e-mail password he had created.
The security questions required the user to know Palin's birthday,
zip code and where she met her husband - all information Kernell said
he discovered through searches on Wikipedia and Google.
Kernell later apologized to the Palin family for the
incident. In a note on her Facebook page after his conviction,
Palin wrote she was "thankful that the jury thoroughly and carefully
weighed the evidence and issued a just verdict."