Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Social Networks The Internet News

Judge Tentatively Dismisses Case Against Lori Drew 420

Posted by timothy
from the gotta-state-a-proper-claim dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to Wired, 'A federal judge on Thursday overturned guilty verdicts against Lori Drew, and issued a directed acquittal on the three misdemeanor charges.'" A similar story in the L.A. Times notes that "The decision by US District Judge George H. Wu will not become final until his written ruling is filed, probably next week." Update: 07/02 21:15 GMT by T : For those not following, Lori Drew's three convictions sprang from charges of online harassment of Megan Meier, a Missouri teenager whose suicide was linked to Drew's actions.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Judge Tentatively Dismisses Case Against Lori Drew

Comments Filter:
  • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:26PM (#28563771)

    It will be interesting to see the public reaction to this.

    It's the correct decision, but the emotional "she must pay" reactions are going to be pervasive.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:40PM (#28563965) Journal
      I'm pleasantly surprised. I was fully expecting this to fall into the "hard cases make really awful law" pile.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JordanL (886154)
      That's because a similar situation without a computer would have been manslaughter. (Homicide without intent.)

      The addition of a computer should not fuzzy this.
      • by jipn4 (1367823) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @08:23PM (#28567099)

        That's because a similar situation without a computer would have been manslaughter. (Homicide without intent.)

        Being rude and offensive is not manslaughter.

        The daughter was mentally ill and apparently suicidal; it was her parents' responsibility to keep her out of situations that would trigger a suicide.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Antidamage (1506489) *

      She had a calculated plan to drive a child to kill herself. The bitch needs to face the consequences.

      • by whiledo (1515553) * on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:53PM (#28564169)

        If we decide she can be imprisoned based simply on her speech, it's is not just her but we who will face the consequences.

        • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:57PM (#28564233)

          If we decide she can be imprisoned based simply on her speech, it's is not just her but we who will face the consequences.

          That's already been decided. To take the classic example, if you yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, you are responsible for the consequences.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jd (1658)

            Apparently not now. This could be used as case law to argue that yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater (or around a firing squad) is acceptable.

            The main problem with this case, all along, is that it was going to set some sort of precedent. That was inescapable. Judges HATE setting precedents and try their damnest to always set the most relaxed precedent possible, so as to not get blamed later on. (It rarely has anything to do with law, as far as I can tell, purely a CYA.)

            The secondary problem was that there

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:45PM (#28564921)

            That's a horrible example, and you should be ashamed of yourself for using it. The case in question, if you care to do some research--did not involve a person shouting fire in a theatre. It did not involve anyone shouting fire. That quote came from a judge convicting a man of distributing communist leaflets. "Fire in a theatre" seems totally appealing to the average person--but the precedent it set was that politically unpopular speech was equivalent to inciting a dangerous panic.

            Please--can we abolish the example of fire in a theatre forever more? In the eyes of the judiciary--it's equivalent to handing out fliers.

          • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @05:34PM (#28565493) Homepage

            Then charge her for that. They basically decided to make up some bullshit about unauthorized access to a computer system and charge her with that.

            The difficulty here is that killing oneself is generally considered to be an irrational action, and therefore it defies a typical causal relationship. Should this woman have known that her actions would cause the girl to commit suicide? Personally, I wouldn't think that anything I could do would make anyone else kill themselves. We've all acted cruelly to others, and had others act cruelly towards us, but still, most of us don't kill ourselves (and presumably nobody reading this has killed themselves). And when others do kill themselves, e.g. because a relationship ended, we're all quick to point out that it wasn't the fault of the other person. We acknowledge that the suicide victim had deeper issues and behaved abnormally to normal events.

            It's hard to say what the case is here. Clearly adults should be held more responsible for their behavior toward minors, the same way they are for sexual assault, or providing substances to minors. The same should probably apply for harassment as well. If there's not already a law for this, then we can make one. But our goal should be to fix the problem(s), not to find vengeance. Vengeance is not a solution, and the respite it brings is virtually inconsequential. Nobody ever says that everything is better after a murderer is executed -- the healing process continues in the same way, as it must, whether they're executed, locked away for life, or escape to some third world country. It does bring a sense of order, in that people suffer the consequences of their actions, but that sense is only illusory anyway. Bad things happen to good people, just as good things can happen to bad people, and it's just something we have to accept at times. And when there's no law in place to punish certain actions, that's one of those times. The potential damages of writing laws that are effective retroactively far outweighs any benefit or solace we might find in "setting things right," particularly because it's not setting things right when we have to compromise our values in the process. In effect, we as a society bear some of the responsibility here for not having clearly defined such behavior to be off limits in the first place.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by jbolden (176878)

              That's the difference between manslaughter and murder. In murder there is an intent to cause death. In manslaughter there is an intent to cause harm but the death resulted accidentally. For example if I punch someone and they die that's a manslaugher.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DM9290 (797337)

            this case is like trying to prosecute someone for yelling "fire", on the basis that they threw away their ticket stub instead of keeping it with them at all times as clearly printed on the ticket.

            If it raising a false alarm is a crime, prosecute raising a false alarm, don't try to pretend failing to keep your ticket stub on you is illegal.
            If raising a false alarm is not a crime, tough cookies. Fix the law, and move on.

            "Cyber bullying" was not a crime.

        • no. but that's "simply speech"

          well, actually, no, there is no such thing as "simply speech." there are plenty of things that you can write on the internet or issue from your mouth that should rightfully result in you being imprisoned

          such as shouting fire in a crowded theatre

          such as an adult
          1. purposefully playing with the emotions of one specific child (not general rants on the internet)
          2. a child she knows to have psychologically problems
          3. over an extended period of time
          4. directly suggesting suicide after manipulating, setting up, and torturing this child

          that's not "simply speech". not REMOTELY "simply speech"

          this is nothing like me calling gw bush a douchebag or advocating for greater acceptance of necrophilia or defending westboro baptist church or anything else that someone might object to but is obviously free speech. there are lots of free speech that are odious but not criminal

          your opinion is invalid because its too broad, and does not consider how complicated the interplay between your rights and your responsibilities are in this world

          no, you do not get automatic protection from the consequences of EVERYTHING you can possibly say

          • It is not alleged that she ever entered a single message on myspace, it was her employee (who incidentally was not charged). Your analogy should read, "Like telling someone else to yell FIRE in a crowded theatre," in order to be correct.
          • by computational super (740265) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:21PM (#28564559)
            that should rightfully result in you being imprisoned such as shouting fire in a crowded theatre

            Is that really the only thing you anti-free-speech people can come up with? I mean, really... if I wanted to cause chaos and yelled "fire" in a crowded theater - assuming that people really did trample each other and get hurt, rather than just filing out in an orderly fashion or looking around, saying, "I don't see a fire. Where? What fire?" and then going back to their movie - I could always claim that I saw a fire, sorry about all that, don't know what happened to the fire...

            • over an extended period of time, i send to your email address explicit detailed accounts of how i am going to brutally murder you. i do this for months on end. i show you i know where you live on a map, i send you pictures of you getting in and out of your car, i send you pictures of your family

              is that protected speech in your mind?

              of course not, its stalking and harassment, and deserves to be punished

              but all i did was communicate with you over the internet. its protected speech, right? bullshit

              not all speech is protected. please understand that. what this woman did is like stalking and harassment cubed: it was pointed at a MINOR, a minor she KNEW had psychological problems, it lasted over an extended period of time, it involved lies, manipulation, setting someone up for a fall, suggestions of suicide

              this is not shouting angry warped words at anyone in general or anonymous people you don't reallty know. thats free speech. but this is specific to one person, a crafted, tailored and dedicated long-term attempt at psychologically torturing a specific person, a minor, a minor with psychological problems the woman KNEW about

              no, that's way, way, way beyond free speech, and it is criminal

              the legal strategy the prosecuters used to try to punish this woman is retarded. i don't know why they just didn't go with some sort of laws pertaining to the psychological abuse of a minor

          • There are probably laws against the ability to verbally (in this case 'textually') abuse a minor. That is the case at hand.

            Charging her with 'hacking' is b.s., and tying a private companies' terms of service into the mix is a mistake as well.

            What needs to happen is that the charges need to be aligned with what actually happened. There are a bagillion laws in this country, and to resort to false charges of 'hacking' for lack of having sought applicable charges.... it just seems lazy to me.

            I am in agreemen

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sexconker (1179573)

            Nothing you say should EVER get you IMPRISONED.
            NOTHING.

            NO ONE should EVER attempt to restrict your RIGHT to say what you want.

            You SHOULD be sued for demonstrable damages that occurred as a direct result of your speech.

            You SHOULD be investigated for making threats.

            You SHOULD be monitored for encouraging protesters to get violent.

            In this case, the family should sue her for every cent she has, as it's fucking simple to show that her speech was both a direct and major contributor to their daughter's suicide.

            I d

            • a fundamentalist believes in absolute universal and unyielding concepts

              it is a convenient way for you to avoid having to think about the world and how complex it really is, and all you wind up doing is create more suffering than you think you relieve

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by sexconker (1179573)

                I believe in the government not encroaching on the rights I am supposed to have.

                It's not a convenient way to do anything.

                I'd wager the restriction of speech and the erosion of people's right in this country has done far more to "create more suffering" than anything I have or ever will do.

                • "I believe in the government not encroaching on the rights I am supposed to have."

                  this is an empty phrase. everyone agrees with that. the problem is: what are these rights you are supposed to have?

                  for example, if you yell fire in a crowded theatre, you are pitting your right to say whatever you want versus someone else's right to live. in this instance, their right is more important than your right, so your right is naturally and logically limited by reality

                  in reality, your rights exist in tension with othe

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Draek (916851)

            no, you do not get automatic protection from the consequences of EVERYTHING you can possibly say

            You don't, but you should. No, I'm not an anarchist or even a libertarian, but the fact that there are things you can't say for fear of prison disgusts me *far* more than having this woman go free. And if a yell of "fire" in a theatre causes a stampede then I'm damn well blaming the crowd on that one, regardless of whether there was an actual fire or not.

      • by Repossessed (1117929) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:56PM (#28564201)

        Um, no she didn't, there was never *any* intent to drive Meagan to suicide.

        Beyond that, Lori Drew wasn't even the one who wrote the messages that set Meagan off. Another teenager testified at Lori Drew's trial that she (the other teenager) had also had access to the account and had written the final messages.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Tanktalus (794810)

          Not all crimes require intent. "I intended to go through that intersection at a high rate of speed, officer, but I did not *intend* to kill the pedestrian." == "vehicular manslaughter". This case seems like a prime candidate for "criminal negligence causing death". The defendant, from what I've heard, did wilfully cause distress to a child whose depressive condition was known to her (seriously? a 13-year-old girl who is NOT emotionally volatile is the exception, not the rule!) that the defendant should

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by a whoabot (706122)

            Was Megan Meier's death a suicide? I would answer yes because that is what all the news reports say.
            Are any suicides accidental deaths? I would answer no because I believe intentionality is an essential part of a death being a suicide.
            Are all deaths caused by criminal negligence accidental? I would answer yes, because if they were not accidental then they would be intentional, and then the guilty individual or individuals would rather be guilty of murder and not negligence.

            But now I think I've ran into th

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              But now I think I've ran into the problem for your idea that Meier's death was caused by criminal negligence. Given that her death was a suicide, and given that no suicides are accidental, we can conclude that her death was not accidental. But it also seems that all deaths caused by criminal negligence are accidental. So, based on that, if her death was caused by criminal negligence, then her death was accidental. But her death was not accidental, so it seems safe to conclude that her death was not caused by criminal negligence.

              This is all symantic quibble. You can tip a glass without attempting to knock it over. If it falls over and breaks, it's you're fault - whether it was your intention or not, you are responsible for it breaking. If this woman harassed this teen, intentionally causing emotional distress, and that becomes the primary factor of the teen's emotional breakdown-leading-to-suicide, then the teen's blood is on this woman's hands, and she is guilty or murder or manslaughter. Murder, if she intended the teen to ki

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Lloyd_Bryant (73136)

            This case seems like a prime candidate for "criminal negligence causing death". The defendant, from what I've heard, did wilfully cause distress to a child whose depressive condition was known to her (seriously? a 13-year-old girl who is NOT emotionally volatile is the exception, not the rule!) that the defendant should have known faced a reasonable likelihood (which is not the same as "better than 50-50 odds") of causing the death of said child. That's pretty much criminal negligence right there.

            First off, "criminal negligence" means "failing to take action when it is obvious that such action is necessary to prevent harm". What you're looking for is called "depraved indifference", which means "taking an action knowing that harm is likely, but not caring".

            And I'm not sure that *either* applies to his case. You state the defendant "should have known faced a reasonable likelihood of causing the death of said child", but there's no evidence that the defendant had the psychological training needed to

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          Another teenager testified at Lori Drew's trial that she (the other teenager) had also had access to the account and had written the final messages.

          Another teenager testified under a grant of immunity.
          How convienent.

      • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:59PM (#28564265)

        Unfortunately, she needed to be charged with the right crimes. The Prosecutor thought he'd be cute by charging her with a bunch of computer crimes instead of going for boring old crimes like "harassment" or "criminal negligence causing death" or something like that. So she'll get to walk, in all likelihood.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by davester666 (731373)

        FTA, somebody else: signed up on myspace, created the profile, AND sent the last message to the teen. The person that actually PERFORMED the actions copped a deal for ZERO punishment.

        And what she was charged with, because they couldn't charge her for anything directly related to the teen's suicide, so they charge that violating a site's TOS as a criminal offense? That's ridiculous.

        Is she a bad person? Yes. But there wasn't any enacted law she broke, so there is no punishment the public can enforce, othe

    • The pay part is better dealt with in civil court. She's an asshole who deserves to be severely punished, but she did not violate the law she was accused of and it would have set a horrible precedent. She should have been found not guilty to begin with. Now in a civil case I could see handing down a guilty verdict for harassment or wrongful death, and likely a crippling financial penalty with it.

    • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:06PM (#28564371)
      Seriously, the charges she was convicted of were an EXTREMELY BAD precedent to set. Under that same precedent, I could put up a website, where-in, I could specify in the terms and conditions of the agreement "that everyone or everything (bots included), upon accessing the website agree to pay me $20, and must opt out of such payment by clicking on the "do not agree" button on the page within 30 days of accessing the site." And for everyone who does not pay me $20, I can have prosecuted under the same statue used in this case for "hacking" computer systems, because they have access them without my consent and against the terms and conditions of use.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by yamfry (1533879)
      I agree. I personally feel that she is a complete dirtbag and a horrible parent, but the prosecution was way out of line in using such a ridiculous law to prosecute. Unfortunately, she'll be seen as "innocent" now. Really they should have prosecuted her with regular ol' harassment or whatever laws don't use the words "cyber" or "e-" or "tubes" in them and pushed for that maximum sentence.
  • by karnal (22275)

    As mentioned in the tags, this is a horrible summary. I don't get the feeling I know what Lori was charged with. Is it piracy? Is it shoplifting? Speeding? Drug charges?

    Who knows? Not me.

    • From the article:

      Drew was accused of participating in a cyberbullying scheme against a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide. The case against Drew hinged on the governmentâ(TM)s novel argument that violating MySpaceâ(TM)s terms of service for the purpose of harming another was the legal equivalent of computer hacking.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by causality (777677)

        From the article:

        Drew was accused of participating in a cyberbullying scheme against a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide. The case against Drew hinged on the governmentâ(TM)s novel argument that violating MySpaceâ(TM)s terms of service for the purpose of harming another was the legal equivalent of computer hacking.

        Sounds like they were trying to create the online equivalent of "disorderly conduct." That is, "we don't have any other crime to charge you with but we really, really don't like you, so have this generic charge instead."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Roane (1075393)

          Sounds like they were trying to create the online equivalent of "disorderly conduct." That is, "we don't have any other crime to charge you with but we really, really don't like you, so have this generic charge instead."

          It's scarier than that; they were claiming that a TOS violation was enough to charge you under CFAA (unauthorized access, or exceeding authorized access). If that were true, being rude on a message board (that banned such behavior in its TOS) would be a criminal offense. It would be possible to charge almost any person with a crime for "hacking".

          • by causality (777677)

            Sounds like they were trying to create the online equivalent of "disorderly conduct." That is, "we don't have any other crime to charge you with but we really, really don't like you, so have this generic charge instead."

            It's scarier than that; they were claiming that a TOS violation was enough to charge you under CFAA (unauthorized access, or exceeding authorized access). If that were true, being rude on a message board (that banned such behavior in its TOS) would be a criminal offense. It would be possible to charge almost any person with a crime for "hacking".

            If government exploited a tragedy in order to create a law or set a precedent that expands its powers, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.

            They're vultures, only they're worse than vultures because an animal cannot help but be what it is. Those of you who welcome increasing centalization and increasing state control might be well-meaning but you have no clue concerning what kind of people are bringing it to you.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:41PM (#28563991)

      I don't get the feeling I know what Lori was charged with.

      She killed Michael Jackson.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      As mentioned in the tags, this is a horrible summary. I don't get the feeling I know what Lori was charged with. Is it piracy? Is it shoplifting? Speeding? Drug charges?

      She was charged with not RTFA, which is now a felony. Somebody get a rope!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Wowlapalooza (1339989)

      ("Not I" you mean...)

      There has been so much Slashdot coverage of the Lori Drew/Megan Meier so-called "cyberbullying" case over the past several months, I suppose the summary writer simply assumed that these people were "well-known figures" on this site, albeit perhaps slightly less so than Gates/Ballmer/McBride/Obama/Stevens/Thompson/Lessig/Doctorow/Stallman/Torvalds et al....

    • by julesh (229690)

      As mentioned in the tags, this is a horrible summary. I don't get the feeling I know what Lori was charged with. Is it piracy? Is it shoplifting? Speeding? Drug charges?

      Who knows? Not me.

      The story includes links to all three of the previous slashdot articles that discussed her case, in the "related stories" section. Isn't this enough?

  • by RockClimbingFool (692426) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:29PM (#28563815)

    ...she was convicted of the wrong charges.

    She should have been charged with cyberstalking, stalking, harassment, something. Not for violating a website's terms of service.

    That being said, this is one of those cases where I hope the family of the victim sues her for everything she has.

  • by pnuema (523776) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:36PM (#28563893)

    go to the St. Louis Post Dispatch website and read the comments. Whenever I begin to have faith in humanity, I go there and am reminded that I am surrounded by idiot racist filth.

    But I love St. Louis. Really.

  • Rule of Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:37PM (#28563909)

    It's a raw that Lori Drew won't be held responsible for her actions, but I prefer not stretching and bending the law to meet an emotional need. New situations arise, people suffer, but hopefully some level headed evolution of the law can deal better with similar occurrences in the future.

    That said, Lori Drew is an evil cunt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gilesjuk (604902)

      You do have to ask yourself why a 50 year old woman is creating fake myspace accounts and luring underage girls into discussing things. If it was a man doing this it would be called grooming.

      • by whiledo (1515553) *

        "Discussing things"? You're going to have to try a little harder than that.

        If a man did the exact same things, the same laws would apply. I'm not saying they couldn't incorrectly apply a law that doesn't apply, much like they did in Lori Drew's case. But as far as I know, there's nothing in the record of cybersex, nude photo exchanges, etc.

    • But she's still a horrible parent and a horrible person, and even though I stopped believing in Karma as a universal cosmic force years ago, I hope she gets what she deserves for her part in abusing that poor 13 year old girl.
    • Re:Rule of Law (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:46PM (#28564063)

      It's a raw that Lori Drew won't be held responsible for her actions, but I prefer not stretching and bending the law to meet an emotional need. New situations arise, people suffer, but hopefully some level headed evolution of the law can deal better with similar occurrences in the future.

      That said, Lori Drew is an evil cunt.

      Instead of wallowing in how evil such people are (and I do not doubt that), why don't we instead teach young people that this is why you cannot base your life's meaning and your self-esteem on the writings of pseudononymous trolls? And then, instead of merely paying lip service to the concept, give them good examples of what it means to find those things from within by both celebrating and striving to be those strong individuals who understand this?

      That would accomplish so much more than another two minutes hate.

      • Re:Rule of Law (Score:5, Insightful)

        by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:09PM (#28564407) Homepage

        ...why don't we instead teach young people that this is why you cannot base your life's meaning and your self-esteem on the writings of pseudononymous trolls?

        Most of us do. As parents, we also teach them to be careful about what they post. However, young people are... well, young. And inexperienced. And not completely rational. Which is why we occasionally need to deal with older people, like Lori Drew, who should have known better.

        Either way, what's done is done. As far as I'm concerned, Lori Drew was and still is a child abuser. She knew what she was doing and intentionally went out of her way to inflict suffering on a child.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by causality (777677)

          Most of us do. As parents, we also teach them to be careful about what they post. However, young people are... well, young. And inexperienced. And not completely rational.

          The problem is many parents pay lip service to the concept of finding meaning and strength within, and then they give many subtle indications that what the neighbors think or whether they have a bigger house, a fancier car, more frivolous luxuries, or a higher paying job than someone else is important to them. The single biggest weakness

    • It is amazing how quickly people forget what middle school and high school were like.

      Real boys tell crap like that to girls all the time and they don't hang themselves. The only person at fault here is the 13 year old who hung herself and the parents of the 13 year old who didn't teach their daughter to be confident in herself.

      The group of people who made the fake boy up are ass holes, but no more than any of the people I went to school with. It was mean, but being mean doesn't make it a crime.

  • Will she pay? (Score:3, Informative)

    by lazlow (94602) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:45PM (#28564049) Journal

    I think a Wrongful Death suit is appropriate.

  • "tentatively"? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    He dismissed it. They don't write the rulings in the courtroom so it has to be on paper before any new motions can be based on the dismissal, but he dismissed it. That's all 'will not become final' means. It's not an exploratory step.

  • by nausea_malvarma (1544887) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @03:59PM (#28564269)
    the freedom to say mean things, as well as good things. Lori Drew is an asshole, but last time I checked, being an asshole was not illegal. What she did was harassment, not murder.
  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:03PM (#28564315)

    It all worked out out in the end. Ms. Drew is freed from the predations of an overzealous prosecutor while she has to live with her reputation tarnished. For the rest of her life people will be able to read about the terrible thing she did to that poor girl and shun her for it.

  • Thank Goodness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anom (809433) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:15PM (#28564473)

    Thank goodness that judges have the ability to overrule the jury (only in the favor of the defendant) when there is a serious miscarriage of justice being performed...

    Haven't had much occasion to do it recently, but chalk up a win for the American justice system.

    Of course I don't like her, but someone should never be found guilty of completely BS charges, even if they're guilty of something else.

  • by JobyOne (1578377) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:15PM (#28564477) Homepage Journal
    Lori Drew is terrible, I think we all agree on that. I'd like to take issue with the word "cyber-bullying."

    What she did could be called harassment, stalking, maybe even grounds for a wrongful death suit. Had she done this by phone, or snail mail, or paper airplane she probably would have wound up under one of those anvils. Instead, just because her evil-doing happened to be done through a computer the media feels the need to refer to it by a stupid made-up word, and the prosecutor feels the need to dig into some wacky interpretation of computer hacking law.

    What's the result? This poor judge is forced to make a ruling that will make a lot of people angry, probably to the detriment of his own career, and let an evil woman go free. Guess what, he had to do this because of the shenanigans of the media and prosecution, fortunately he has the foresight to avoid setting a terrible precedent that violating ToS is "hacking."
  • by moxley (895517) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @04:46PM (#28564939)

    The prosecution of this woman for bogus charges was ridiculous.

    Yes, she was cruel, but:

    1. Violating a website's TOS is not illegal;
    2. She was not responsible for the girl's suicide, that is why it was a suicide and not a murder;
    3. Abusing the legal system to punish someone who has done something extremely unpopular with the masses by either trumping up charges or using ridiculous interpretations which are byond novel should be a criminal offense if anything should be;
    4. The authoritarian leaning people in government and industry in this country hoped to be able to use this case and the bogus charges to set precedents that would have left pretty much all of us who use the net regularly at risk for all kinds of shit.

    I just read a post where someone referred to one of the scumbags who was teasing this girl as "the killer." If that doesn't illustrate that people have a poor and overly emotional "TV cop show" understanding of the law and ethics, then I don't know what will.

    I hope we don't see this judge bow to the inevitable pressure that will be heaped upon him by the scores of people thirsting for vengeance after they hear about this ruling - there are TONS of injustices that are far worse than what that bitch and her nutty kid did to this poor girl, some of which may make life harder or more miserable for already suffering people - who may then commit suicide...Where is the outrage for them?

    These outraged people would better spend their time donating money to suicide prevention programs or volunteering for suicide helplines; but hey, there's no voyeuristic sick venegeance pleasure to be gained by doing so....

In every non-trivial program there is at least one bug.

Working...