Misdemeanor Conviction in MySpace Suicide Case

from FoxNews:

Misdemeanor Conviction in MySpace Suicide Case

LOS ANGELES – A jury has convicted a Missouri mother of lesser, misdemeanor crimes in the MySpace cyber-bullying case linked to a 13-year-old girl’s suicide.

The Los Angeles federal court jury on Wednesday 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.

The jurors could not reach a verdict on a conspiracy count.

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.

Megan, who had been treated for depression, hanged herself in 2006 after receiving a message saying the world would be better without her.

Hmmm . . . not sure how I would have voted if I were on the jury.
I’ve said nasty things to (and about) people – does that make me a murderer or a conspirator if they are unstable it pushes them over the edge?

God help all concerned, especially the girl who killed herself.

Maybe we need to make laws that protect those most vulnerable from those that say nasty things to others.

Probably not, although it should be mentioned that Drew did much more than simply say nasty things. Deliberately winning the confidence of an emotionally vulnerable person, then switching to verbally abusing that person to the point that suicide happens is morally reprehensible. But lots of morally reprehensible actions are not crimes.

On the other hand, Missouri (where Drew lives) passed a law against cyber-harassment in the wake of the scandal. So maybe it would be a crime there now.

There is a huge difference in a hurtful word and what happened here.

Even if the goal was not for the girl to die, the goal was to hurt her deeply. The adult that set this situation up had full knowledge of this childs emotional challanges. If this happened to someone we loved how would we feel?

Pray for all involved. Pray for the child that we hope is with God.

This woman is in her 40’s. The young girl was in her teens. Doesn’t anyone remember what it was like to be a vulnerable teenager without additional emotional problems? That a grown woman could participate in this deception of a teen girl is reprehensible. She should have acted like a grown-up and stopped this in its tracks. She should have taught her daughter what to do when people don’t say nice things about one. She also had knowledge of this girl’s mental state.

So for not acting like a grown-up and tormenting a teenager to death, this woman has been convicted of a misdeamnor, had to pay a lawyer, had to pay for going halfway across the country, lost her business, had to move from her home and has become a pariah in her community. I would say she is reaping some of the rewards of her actions. It was even reported that her husband told her this wasn’t a good idea. Guess she should have listened to him.

If I as a 34 year old sent your 13 year old son or daughter a message telling them that the world would be better off without them, with full knowledge of your son or daughter’s emotional state, what would you think?

Would you want me held responsible, or chalk it up to me just saying something “nasty”?

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