In the end, no justice for Megan and a foolish LA jury has now created legal precedent for cyber bullying …
The internet-cyber bullying case of 49 year old Missouri mom Lori Drew could be coming to a final verdict soon. Lori Drew was accused of one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization. She could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in prison if convicted of all counts. Jurors stated that they have reached a partial verdict. Please tell me these jurors are not going to act like cowards and let Lori Drew off the hook.
(13 year old Megan Meier)
Lori Drew, an adult purposely and willfully bullied 13-year-old neighbor Megan Meier in to hanging herself. As Drew wrote, that the world would be better off without her. Prosecutors allege that Drew created the false identity of Josh Evans in a cruel MySpace hoax to communicate on line with Megan Meire. A hoax that ended in the death of a 13 year old minor, Megan Meier
Lori Drew, 49, is accused of conspiracy and accessing computers without authorization for her alleged role in a scheme to create a phony profile of a teenage boy on the MySpace social networking Web site to harass 13-year-old neighbor Megan Meier. Drew has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization. She could be sentenced to as many as 20 years in prison if convicted of all counts. Megan, who was being treated for depression, hanged herself in 2006 after receiving a message that the world would be better off without her. Prosecutors charged Drew under the Computer Use and Fraud Act, which in the past has been used in hacking and trademark theft cases. The terms prohibit the use of phony names and harassment of other MySpace members.
UPDATE I: JURY OF COWARDS … Convict Lori Drew of 3 Lesser Charges What is up with Los Angeles juries in that they are incapable of actually finding some one guilty of murder? The LA jury in the Lori Drew Internet-Cyber bullying case of Megan Meier were unable to convict Drew on the main conspiracy charge that lead to Meier’s death. Were the jurors COWARDS or STUPID? How could anyone following this case not think that “Lori Drew did not access a computer without authorization to inflict emotional distress on young Megan Meier”.
AP – Lori Drew, right, and her daughter Sarah Drew arrive at federal court Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008, in Los Angeles …
The Los Angeles federal court jury rejected felony charges of accessing a computer without authorization to inflict emotional distress on young Megan Meier. However, the jury found defendant Lori Drew guilty of three counts of the lesser offense of accessing a computer without authorization. Each count is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The jurors could not reach a verdict on a conspiracy count, and U.S. District Court Judge George Wu declared a mistrial on the charge. It was not known if she would be retried. She could have been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison if convicted of the four original counts. Prosecutors said Drew violated the MySpace terms of service by conspiring with her young daughter and a business assistant to create a fictitious profile of a teen boy on the MySpace social networking site to harass Megan.
What message did this clueless and guttless jury just send the rest on the internet world? Some how the jury thought it a compromise to convict on 3 misdemeanors, but not the felony charge? What were these jurors thinking, other than the fact that they were not. This was a ground breaking internet legal case and the jurors blew it. They have just effectively created precedent to say its okay for cyber bullying on the internet where already too many things have gotten out of control.
Lori Drew was charged with violating the the MySpace terms of service in order to perpetrate a hoax. That hoax ultimately cost Megan Meier her life. However, Drew’s defense attorney used the following as some type of reasoning … that because a set of rules is not usually read, it therefore cannot be violated. Really? How many people have ever read their auto insurance policy from cover to cover? Do you think if you violate the exclusions of your policy, you will be covered? The answer is no. Ignorance to the rules are not a defense. Except if one has an LA jury.
Legally, as Drew’s lawyer Dean Steward repeatedly reminded the jury, the case was not about whether Drew caused Megan to commit suicide. Instead, Drew was accused of violating MySpace’s terms of service by obtaining personal information to inflict emotional distress on the teen.
But the emotional pull, and much of the testimony in the trial in federal court in Los Angeles, centered on the suicide. “The tragedy in this case is not just Megan Meier’s suicide. It’s the fact that it was so preventable,” U.S.attorney Thomas O’Brien said in his closing statement.
Drew’s lawyers and outside legal experts have argued that the unusual prosecution could broaden the scope of what’s considered criminal conduct on the Internet. Drew was charged for violating the MySpace terms of service, a set of rules that many users probably do not read. “How can you violate something when you haven’t even read it?” Steward asked, according to the Associated Press. “End of case.”