If Lori Drew Is Guilty, So Are Most Internet Users

from the being-a-jerk-isn't-illegal dept

While we can understand the anger some folks feel at Lori Drew -- the woman who some blame for the eventual suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier -- it was quite troubling the way in which prosecutors indicted Drew. Since there didn't appear to be much of a law concerning being a jerk online to a child, she was instead charged with computer fraud for using a fake name on MySpace. This is an extremely weak case, and Drew's lawyers have now asked for the charges to be dropped, noting that almost any internet user could probably be found guilty under the same rationale. This was pretty clearly a political attempt to prosecute Drew for something, even if there's little evidence that she actually broke a law. While many people who comment on stories concerning Drew do so out of emotion rather than logic, hopefully the judge will recognize that this particular charge is a misuse of the law in question.


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  1.  
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    The non harrassing Potato, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Yup most internet users do

    I mean I can name about 100 people off the top of my head the manipulate 13 girls causing their suicide. All done via the internet.

     

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  2.  
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    dorpus, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Wouldn't it be funny if

    Mike had a 13-yo daughter, someone harassed her online, and she killed herself? Then Mike can defend the murderer on how "laws are useless" and that the murderer deserves to walk free.

     

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  3.  
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    Peace Nique, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Emotional response that neglects the facts. This was not "murder", it was "suicide". No one is minimizing the tragedy but to label this a murder is incorrect.

     

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  4.  
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    Monarch, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if & Yup most internet users do

    2 Trolls not using logic, especially Dorpus. I just don't see Dorpus as the official name on the Birth Certificate for Dorpus. And the statement there does seem a little bit like harassment.
    So should we charge Dorpus or Potato for internet fraud?

     

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  5.  
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    Jesse Anderson Jjesse285, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    The Suicide of a Person

    So there are some peoples out there who think that this woman should no be charge with a child death, why in the world would you want to cause a disaster in a person life and the intentionally of makig a child be in pin and take her life, wake up when you do evil you get pay back for your due, so she should be put in jail,the other one's who have evil on thier mind can see the lession on what you get when you do wrong.

     

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  6.  
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    Justin, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Get a grip

    Ok think of this before any more of these half cocked idiotic posts come up. They are using computer fraud as a charge because she violated the ToS. There is one major screw up using this, this would mean anyone who lies about where they live for anonymity sake is guilty of the same charges. It is very sad and tragic there is no fitting law to charge her under, not even harassment can touch it unless somewhere they find the 13 year old asked her to stop. All I am saying is the defense in the long run on this case is seeking dismissal for all of the right reason but I 100% agree there should be something on the books she can be charged with. If anything you can always try a civil suit and take her for every dime due to pain and suffering. Even in this case it would be better to go for premeditated murder by form of manipulation but until they make suicide illegal blame the system not the defense for doing the right thing and getting this thrown out or everyone will be in a world of hurt.

     

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  7.  
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    Jesse Anderson Jjesse285, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Yup most internet users do

    Well you should go to the police because God don't like evil, if you know what happe and dd notdo anything's about it you are just as muchas part of who did it.

     

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    Jesse Anderson Jjesse285, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Well it seen to me that you just get in the world and still have that baby bottle in your mouth, if you cause the killing of any human being it far under murder so get a life.

     

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  9.  
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    wouldn't it be funner if...., Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    ... you actually had a comment with some logic behind it, like Mike pointed out.

    The unfortunate reality is no laws were broken. Wrong. Yes. But not illegal.

     

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    Jesse Anderson Jjesse285, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Well it seen to me that you just get in the world and still have that baby bottle in your mouth, if you cause the killing of any human being it far under murder so get a life.

     

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  11.  
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    Jesse Anderson Jjesse285, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Get a grip

    Well used your brain, by what you saying then computer fraud would be the iceing on the cake, case closed.

     

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  12.  
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    Wesha, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    "Bringing a person to suicide or attempted suicide" is a criminal offense in Russia. (Article 110 of Criminal Code, http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.az-design.ru%2FProjects%2FAZLibrCD%2FLaw%2F CrimnLaw%2FUKRF97%2Fukrf110.shtml&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=ru&tl=en) -- that's what we need here...

     

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  13.  
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    jhunter, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Appeal to emotion is a logical fallacy.

    The fact is she didn't break a law. Let the girl's family sue this woman for wrongful death, they'll probably win and Lori Drew will be paying restitution for the rest of her life. If you are out for revenge then that's something.

     

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    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Morally poor but

    Ok if the girl had not comitted suicide nobody would be having this discussion. The way this woman treated her from what I have read was "not nice" however she didnt tell the girl anything that the girl may not have heard from her peers. In the end the lady was "not nice" but did nothing really illegal and I am fairly certain death was not her goal and even if it was the child chose to do it.

    As I have said in other posts if Lori is guilty then so should the parents be, for neglect.

    If I left a gun lying around and my kid picked it up and accidentally killed herself or one of her playmates I would be held responsible. Her parents provided her with knowledge and an internet connection, and didn't supervise her. Imagine, the girl could have gotten a hand on someones firearm and taken a lot of people with her too over this and who would be at fault?

     

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    Mark, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:45pm

    Other Examples

    For those who are saying she should be tried for murder, let me try this on you: Lets say Jane and Joe are dating. Joe cheats and the couple breaks up. Jane kills herself over the break up. Do we charge Joe with murder, or manslaughter or even assiting suicide? No we don't, because while the situation is tragic the actions of Joe, while possibly reprehensible, didn't actually take the life of Jane. It was a suicide, and no matter what drove her to it, she took her life so it can't be murder.

    So, to make it reflect more what happened in the referenced case, what if Joe used a fake profile on myspace, facebook, et al to arrange his trysts? Could he be charged with the computer fraud for violating the TOS and by that violation eventually caused Jane's suicide? Seems a stretch even there but I bet if you looked you could find a situation just like that and no one was charged with anything.

    The case is tragic but I feel like this prosecution is all about legal theater (a DA's take on "protecting the children"). Maybe it would be better off if this case was used as a catalyst to improve help lines and other resources so that people don't commit suicide.

     

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  16.  
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    Grant, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    She Should Be Sent Down For Something

    I think the judge is entirely right in sending this woman down, I remember reading about this case way back when, and i this it is terrible that nothing will happen to this woman for the trauma she put that little girl and her family through. This is man-slaughter as far as I am concerned.

     

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  17.  
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    Grant, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    She Should Be Sent Down For Something

    I think the judge is entirely right in sending this woman down, I remember reading about this case way back when, and i this it is terrible that nothing will happen to this woman for the trauma she put that little girl and her family through. This is man-slaughter as far as I am concerned.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Re: The Suicide of a Person

    first get a grip on common sense, and then learn how to spell, then you can come back and post here.

     

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  19.  
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    Dave, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    I have little doubt if Mike did have a 13-yo daughter and (if) he allowed her to go online, he'd do a better job monitoring her usage of it than Megan's parents obviously weren't.

     

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  20.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    The DA that filed charges

    should be fired. He's wasting tax payer money and abusing the law in a way that serves no one and again... just wastes tax payer money. Even if he won an emotionally charged verdict, it wouldn't hold up on appeal.

    Fact is this was an unfortunate situation... That's all.

    Bullying has been around as long as humanity, that will never change.

    Ask yourself this... if that girl had killed 13 people then committed suicide would we still be soooo hot to blame the bullies? Cuz as I recall that's happened a few times in the last few years... In those cases we held the boys responsible for their own acts. Megan Meier (like it or not) did this to herself and her parents weren't active enough in her life to help her when she apparently needed it.

    Am I blaming the parents? Yes... because ultimately when a child does something it is at least partially your fault... that's what you get when you sign up to become a parent... it's called responsibility.

    Do I blame Lori Drew? YES... she may not be legally liable, but she's an idiot to say the least. I can only hope she learns something from the whole thing... which from the interviews I've seen, she has. It's a hard lesson, but one I think hit home.

    Do I blame society? Yep... we don't get off that easy. We all love the anonymity of the Internet... last I checked, no one here used their real name and contact information in this thread. And we can all say some pretty cruel and stupid things, esp in forums and chat sites and social networking sites... for the most part anonymity can bring out the dark side of people. So how does prosecuting one person for doing something that everyone does to some degree help anyone? Answer: It doesn't!

    Try this... lets see who in this thread can suggest a law that WOULD in fact be applicable in this case and would have prevented this tragedy... but also wouldn't screw each and every one of us in some way.

    Lets ban talking bad about people online... lets ban pretending to be someone you aren't online (be careful using E-Harmony, or that chick you pissed off last week will have you sent to jail for false representation)...

     

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  21.  
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    Peregrine, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    ........

    Okay here's the thing, nobody is saying that this woman did nothing wrong. She did, but -A- she did not murder this girl only agitated an already bad situation. The adults in this girls life share an equal blame in not getting her help. This woman is evil but not a murderer. -B- No one is debating whether she should be punished in some way but she should be punished for what she did -harassment- not have the one law that they can actually stick her with get blown up out of proportion. This kind of case will set a precedent and I for one do not want to go to jail when I tell you that you are fucking morons who can't see past the ends of their noses or think further than a child.

     

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  22.  
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    mslade, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: The Suicide of a Person

    Anonymous Coward,

    The intarwebz is available in non-English speaking countries. Not everybody with poor grammar is an imbecile, and not everyone with proper grammar is intelligent.

     

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  23.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    has nothing to do with this..

    This isn't about Lori creating a fake account, this is about her OTHER actions; she's just being held liable for the fake account since it contributed to those actions. Without the fake account Lori couldn't have harassed Megan because she would have then known she was talking to a complete bitch, err, Lori Drew.

    Why do you continue to miss this fact Mike?

    If I rip you off by using a fake account then I'm guilty of fraud but if the prosecution can't prove fraud(or even if they can) they will peer deep into my actions to see what else I may have done to lead up to the fraud and if they see I created a fake account to do it, they'll charge me with it. This is essentially how they nailed Al Capone with tax evasion. He was guilty of a gazillion other things but he got tax evasion. Do you see how this works now? It's absolutely nothing new and while it does suck if you're innocent, they don't often pull this unless you're flaunting the fact that you're an untouchable.

     

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  24.  
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    Monarch, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Morally poor but

    Off the topic about computer fraud, but right on the point for the subject. The parents are as just at fault for letting an impressionable child be on the internet unsupervised and for neglect.
    Lori was not nice, had morally bad judgement, but the parents also had bad judgement.

     

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  25.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    Reality

    This case is not about the tragic suicide by itself, or even Lori Drew directly causing it...it is about a grown woman and mother being so dispicable and devious as to impersonate another child...THEN cause complete emotional distress in a child who she KNEW (meaning she had prior knowledge of) had a history of depression. She should rot in hell for eternity...the prosecutor(s) should use ANY means at their disposal to burn the witch. Its just unfortunate that they have to bend the law to make the system try to achieve justice for the girls parents.

     

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  26.  
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    Disturbed Surfer, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    Misuse of law

    I will admit that I break ToS agreements all the time. I don't even really read them anymore. Not sure if I know of anyone that does. Does that mean I am on the same level as this person? I havn't made anyone kill themself. That is what this is setting up. It is wrong that she get away with this but misusing the law to get someone when they have done something that we don't like is even worse. You don't want to be arrested because someone thinks music is evil and you downloaded a song off the internet. Sure this is abit on the extreme side of viewing things but I'd rather feel safe and get a new law put in place then run the risk of 1984 ruling my life just to stop wrong-doers that we can't predict.

     

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  27.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Other Examples

    While those are good examples and all, they miss the fact that Lori committed her deeds maliciously and under a fake account.

    Your first example doesn't take that into consideration since the context is entirely different.

    Your second example gets closer but Joe needs to use a fake account to harass Jane, not simply to setup a tryst.

    Anonymity is not illegal but using it to commit other crimes may well be. As an example, there is no law against me using Tor but there are laws against me using Tor to commit fraud or to harass someone.

     

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  28.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Come on ehrichweiss are you serious!?

    Using the Al Capone "untouchable" analogy!? Wow you really don't have an argument if you have to reach that far into the false logic stack!

    If EVERYONE committed tax fraud then, I doubt Capone would have been convicted... it's not like they gave him a huge sentence for unpaid parking tickets.

    And Al Capone did A LOT of bad things, all of them absolutely illegal... they just lacked the evidence.

    Lori Drew did nothing illegal... NOTHING. Her acts were irresponsible and led to someone else committing suicide. But her acts in themselves were NOT illegal.

    If someone had unplugged Megan's PC she'd still be alive.

    I walk up to a co worker and say "go jump off a bridge", and they do it... Does that mean I committed a crime?

     

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  29.  
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    Annamous yes, coward noAnonymous yes, coward no, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:14pm

    #15 you are absolutely correct. Potato head should F* herself.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Yup most internet users do

    mmmm...grammar. It's awesome, you should try it!

     

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  31.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Come on ehrichweiss are you serious!?

    Moderation: If you impersonate someone else...a Doctor perhaps, and you have knowledge that your co-worker is not mentally stable...then you "convince" them to jump off a bridge as you say...then yes, I think a case could be made against you that you committed a CRIME.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Suicide of a Person

    Agreed, but if you're attempting to make a point on an English language board, you should at least make an attempt to use the language.

    'Pin' instead of 'pain' is a typo, not a mistranslation. Read before you post!

     

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  33.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Re: The DA that filed charges

    "Do I blame Lori Drew? YES... she may not be legally liable, but she's an idiot to say the least. I can only hope she learns something from the whole thing... which from the interviews I've seen, she has."

    Translation: "I'm about to go to jail so I'm going to pretend like I've learned my lesson".

    Ever been to a jail or prison? There's a huge percentage of people there that will claim they've turned to Cheeezus(tm) and that they've turned their lives around. Over 80% of those same people are back in jail within a year for the exact same crime. Fact.

    Why? Because after a certain point in our lives, we know no other way to live and barring something like a stroke or brain hemorrhage, we follow the same path we always took. It sounds pessimistic but sadly it's just reality.

     

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  34.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Misuse of law

    Anonymity isn't illegal. Using it to commit a crime is though.(duh)

    For the record, this isn't a new law. Laws on computer crimes were enacted in the mid-to-late 1980's in most cases and covered this situation. You've never been charged for using an anonymous account because you've never committed a real crime involving it.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    "hopefully the judge will recognize that this particular charge is a misuse of the law in question"

    You have a higher opinion of judges than I do.

     

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  36.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Come on Moderation are you that dense!?

    Wow, I've never seen anyone so set in their illusions that they have to use so many presuppositions to say absolutely nothing and can't see how the analogy applies.

    So you have proof that Lori Drew is innocent? Nope, you don't. That's just your agenda talking.

    If you walk up to your co-worker knowing they have a mental illness and tell them to jump off a bridge, you CAN go to jail regardless of what you might hypothesize.

     

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  37.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Shrue, stick to the facts here...

    IF Drew claimed to be a therapist... or claimed to be her parents... or claimed to be law enforcement... yes you'd have a point. But she was just some other anonymous user...

    There was no misrepresentation here at all... Again... It's the PARENT'S responsibility to protect their kids. If someone had told the 13 year old to get off the computer, or asked who she was talking to, or monitored her conversations, or asked why her mood was changing, or done ANYTHING for that matter, this wouldn't be an issue.

    If my kid comes home depressed, I'm talking to him and watching his behavior for a while, PERIOD. If I see he has new friends... I'm keeping an eye on them until I'm comfortable I can drop my guard by half a click... but even then I will be watching. That's my job!

     

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  38.  
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    /., Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:33pm

    slowpoke-dept

     

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  39.  
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    Matt Tate, 801 Larkspur Lane, Chesapeake VA 23322, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Re: The DA that filed charges

    I don't think you should blame society as a whole, just the people who say the cruel things and those who twist the laws. If you disagree, I'm usually home between 7:30-10:00 PM.

     

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  40.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    HEHE Wow, ehrichweiss where are you from...

    "So you have proof that Lori Drew is innocent? Nope, you don't."

    HEHE uhm, She's Innocent until PROVEN guilty... that's my proof.

    And you just sound more and more ignorant making statements like "If you walk up to your co-worker knowing they have a mental illness and tell them to jump off a bridge, you CAN go to jail regardless of what you might hypothesize."

    Unless you can prove that I KNEW before had that the person in question was mentally incompetent and that my actions would in fact lead to them carrying out my direction... the NO I'm not legally responsible. Drew wasn't a psychologist, she was just a stupid person that could have in no way known the ultimate outcome of her actions. Look it up... paste in some case law if you can find it.

     

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  41.  
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    Nobody, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:38pm

    This is all bull

    I have had several friends whom have committed suicide. Every single one of them did so because of the hurt and anguish that they were feeling due to the actions and words of others. In some cases it was large groups of people, whether due to prejudice, racism or simple bullying. Others were from the actions of a single person.

    One of my best childhood friends jumped off a building because he couldn't deal with people trying to finish his sentences for him.

    He had a hair-lip and a significant stutter. So, who gets the blame for his death? The person that picked on the most? The most recent one to pick on him? How about someone that just tried to finish his sentence so they could move on to the next conversation?

    Another friend from my time in the military got severely drunk and jumped from a bridge into a freezing river. How do we divide the guilt for his death? The ex-fiancee that broke off the wedding the night before? The companies that would not refund any of the money for the wedding plans? The would-have-been-father-in-law who never liked him, and probably talked his daughter out of the marriage? How about me, the best friend that went out drinking with him, consoling him on the loss and pain he felt, rather than making sure he didn't do anything rash? The bartender that let him have too much to drink? Or, how about the building watch that went to use the rest room, and never saw the kid leave the barracks?

    The list goes on...

    You know who is guilty of killing each and every one of these people? Themselves.

    There is only one person to truly blame for the "murder" you may want to call this, and that would be the person who actually took the action to end that life. No one else can truly be blamed.

    Sure, you can try and say that it was the woman that harrassed her that caused her to kill herself. But can you be 100% certain that person is the only one who made her feel suicidal? What about the rest of the kids at her school? Are you sure they never said anything that could have pushed her over the edge?

    The simple fact of the mattter is you can not find someone guilty of killing another person unless they actually took some physical action to make it happen. A suicide is murder of self. No way around it.

    As for those that claim the harrassing woman should still be charged with the girl's death, because she is "evil", it is time for you to break out the bible again. Guess what? Suicide is evil, as it goes against God's plan.

    Should the harrassing woman be charged with something? Sure, absolutely, but what should it be....oh....I don't know...maybe....Harrassment?!?

    That is about as far as you can really take it. Sad? Yes, but absolutely true, and not just from a legal stand point.

     

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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    hehe nice Matt... but fact is there are more people out there abusing the anonymity the Internet provides than there are people like you that carry their personal persona online with them. I personally would be happy to give my contact info to anyone that needs it... but there are some wacked out people out there... and in order to protect myself and my family (because I'm a responsible parent) I guard my personal information.

    I blame society on the whole because we all should take some responsibility for the world and the environment we create. I've seen way too many parents take a "kids will be kids" approach to parenting... then when their kids grow up to be ass-hats, we wonder why the world is full of ass-hats.

     

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  43.  
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    Hanuman, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:44pm

    Wow, I never thought that so many uneducated people would read this blog. These are the kind of responses that would make me lie in bed thinking, "why do I even bother".

     

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  44.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:44pm

    Moderation - stick to the real facts here

    Drew claimed to be a REAL boyfriend with a name... Drew pretended to be romantically interested.... this is not some "anonymous " person on the internet as you put it...this is the crux of the issue, NOT ANONYMOUS - a fabricated boyfriend. This is COMPLETE misrepresentation by Drew.

    You must not have any teen age kids of your own, or you would not make the stupid statement that the parents should have protected her by keeping her off the internet. Try keeping any teen aged kid off of My Space or other social network....come on, get real...they LIVE to be connected on the web or any other device that they can chat on. I hardly think you can expect the parents to have 100% supervision at all times...NOT very realistic.

     

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    Bob, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    The problem many seem to be mis-understanding is

    What Drew did is not illegal, but more immoral. In the United States, at least up to this point, we don't put people in jail for immorality, instead we are a community oflaws. In the meantime, everyone complaining that Drew is getting away with murder, your time would be better spent contacting your State and Federal Congressmen/women and ask them to draw up a law that deals with this.

    In no way to I think was Drew did was right, but unfortunately, it just isn't covered under the law of our land.

    Although, in many states, you MIGHT be able to make the argument of Negligent Homicide.

     

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  46.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:52pm

    Shrue do you use the internet much?

    half the people on the internet that are pretending to be women ARE MEN... Want to pass a law to fix that!?


    YES, I have a 13 year old of my very own... and I watch who he talks to, and he knows I'll know... He knows I have his back and he knows I'll kick him in his back side if needed.

    BTW, my son has ASKED for a Myspace account... we're still working out the details on how/if he can have one, and when he's allowed to access it... and who he'll be allowed to interact with while he's using it.

    I won't have complete control... no parent can. But I sure as hell won't be clueless... I won't let him spiral into depression and never notice until it's too late. I won't let someone brain wash him into a false reality without asking a few questions.

    I guess you're one of those parents that thinks it's better to be "friends" with your kids than parents... Well that explains alot.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike (profile), Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Re: slowpoke-dept

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/07/1824228

    Uh. I think you got that wrong. That story was about the charges, which we wrote about in May:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080515/1832441128.shtml

    That's nearly 2 months before the /. story.

    *THIS* story was about Drew's response to the lawsuit.

    So, no, it's not a "slow-poke" response.

     

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  48.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    Agree Bob...

    But even Negligent Homicide requires that the perpetrator have some idea that what they were doing would cause death or injury.

    If I pour nails on a busy freeway and it causes an accident that kills someone, that's Negligent Homicide or reckless endangerment homicide.

    If I put a tack in someone chair, in an attempt to be funny or a joker, and the sit on the tack, and get an infection, and die.... I might be guilty of poor choice, but not homicide.

     

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  49.  
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    SierraNightTide, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 1:59pm

    An adult harassed a teenager with self-image problems (which the adult knew about)

    The adult said things she knew would severely hurt the teenager

    The adult knew better and therefore should be held responsible for her actions.

    Just because it’s online doesn’t make it okay. There should be an online law stating that when someone’s intention is to do financial, emotional or physical harm to anther it should be a crime. There is such a law for this when it happens offline – why not online?

     

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  50.  
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    Gib, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    Re: The Suicide of a Person

    This is obviously an answer based on a different book of myth that many adhere to, though thankfully not all. that being said, it does NOT discount the fact that the charge is bogus.
    If memory serves, they even admitted to having to come up with this to "set an example".
    Before you tout how great an idea that is, remember that when everyone was cheering on the lawsuit that allowed some retard who had his gun stolen to sue the gun maker, those same suits allowed for fat bastards to sue McDonalds for "making" them fat.
    Still sound like a good idea?

     

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  51.  
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    Just suggesting..., Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Ban her from using the internet...

    It may not be a crime but she used a computer and the WWW with premeditated malicious intent which had disastrous results.

    Ban her from using the web again. They do it to hackers, why not in this situation?

    If she touches an internet connection again, she faces jail-time.

    Maybe it will make people think twice about online harassment if they never get to touch a computer again.

     

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  52.  
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    Gib, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    "...therefore should be held responsible for HER actions."

    When did they TELL her to do it? When did they MAKE her do it?
    Personal responsibility is a lost tradition...this may be the way back to it.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: The Suicide of a Person

    besides...no one likes the spelling b police ;)

     

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  54.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    SierraNightTide...

    I've seen MANY cases were a parent talks down to their kids, verbally abuses them, and overall treats them like shit... I've yet to EVER see any of them prosecuted for murder if the child commits suicide...

    Even better if you treat your kid like shit and the kid grows up to be a bank robber, are you an accessory to said crime? I mean your "abuse" led them down a bad path...

    Your logic and reasoning are just plain flawed.

     

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  55.  
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    Nasch, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Other Examples

    No, there are laws against committing fraud or harassing someone. Tor has nothing to do with whether your actions are criminal, since you could be charged with the exact same crime whether you used Tor or not. In the same way, if Drew is guilty of harassment (which apparently the prosecutors believe she is not), that has nothing to do with whether she used MySpace (legitimately, anonymously, with a fake name, or sideways with purple spots) to do it.

     

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  56.  
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    jim, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Other Examples

    I agree but i dont. She made the whole thing up just to hurt the girl. If it were a real life situation then no. but what she did was really wrong and she should pay for it somewhat. She should have known better.

     

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  57.  
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    me, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    It's not against the law to be a jerk

    Just because it’s online doesn’t make it okay. There should be an online law stating that when someone’s intention is to do financial, emotional or physical harm to anther it should be a crime. There is such a law for this when it happens offline – why not online?
    Seriously...If I want to cause someone emotional distress and be the biggest jerk that is humanly possible, that isn't against the law. I can call someone with bulimia a heifer, i can call black people the n-word. I can call little susie from down the road the biggest pestilence ridden whorebag in the world. None of these things are against the law. It's not illegal to be mean. It's wrong, morally, but not legally. Of course, causing physical damage or financial damage is slightly different. But if I want to destroy someone's business by exposing their shoddy business practices, that's not against the law either. The things that you are talking about are civil matters, not criminal.

     

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  58.  
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    Phillip, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Ban her from using the internet...

    That is a punishment. She still needs to be charged and found guilty of a crime before this can be applied.

    I can't just say "you can't use the internet because you're mean."

    If she is charged with something relevant and found guilty than yes, perhaps part of her punishment can be as you suggested, but not before.

     

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  59.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    Moderation - Control freak?

    Yes I've raised 2 kids successfully..and have 1 teen left in the house...it's a balancing act for sure. You have a boy...it's a little different than a girl...(I have both)...so I speak from experience. It's entirely up to you how you raise your own kid - smother them or let em run wild - somewhere in between with moderation is probably best, unless you have some reason to suspect your kid of something..

    Anyway, the depression was diagnosed and the parents were treating the depression - of course in "hindsight" you are correct, they should have supervised her internet usage closer - of course they should have suspected that a busybody neiborhood mother with intimate knowledge of their daughter and her condition would pretent to be an interested boy from school and proceed to stalk their daughter online. So, it's seems a moot point, as you seem convinced you can protect your child from anything,,,well good luck with that...and I'm not trying to be funny.

    Oh...you guessed wrong...I don't think it's better to be "friends" with my kids... I just try to be realistic and teach them to protect themselves as well as doing what a parent can normally do.

     

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  60.  
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    Phillip, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Other Examples

    just because you don't like what somebody did doesn't matter. They have to break the law and be found guilty to be punished.

    She should have behaved better but behaving badly isn't necessarily against any laws.

     

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    mike, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    but that's the kind...

    ...of thing laws are commonly thought to deal with. there are many things lori drew did wrong, the first and pivotal one was to get overinvolved in her daughter's social life. once you accept that it is a parent's place to intervene in their kids conflicts (other than those involving violence or illegal acts), the jump to spying on the evil little neighbor girl who is saying things about my darling becomes.
    once that is rationalized away, further poor judgement ensues and escalates. in my opinion, she should be ostracized by her neighborhood in a non-threatening but non-accepting way, but defining that would be almost as impossible as making that kind of punishment a part of the court system. teens vary a great deal in their ability to get a grip on reality, and the possibility that megan would hurt herself or someone else should have preceded her myspace creepiness. she's not a murderer, just an extremely stupid and self-absorbed (perhaps she was actively dissed while in her teens)woman who allowed herself to catalyze a suicide. i hope she is deeply regretful of her actions and will never again even consider using the secret agent routine to mind her children's business. i hope even more that she will learn when to butt out.

     

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  62.  
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    TKM, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Ridiculously asinine statement.

     

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  63.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    Shrue, that seems like

    the most reasonable thing you've posted. I'm not saying you can guard your kids 100% of the time, but seeing as the kid was diagnosed with depression, you'd think the parents would have been even MORE vigilant in protecting and monitoring her emotional state.

    Now that said... if the girl was that far gone and that close to the edge, then some kid at school could have told her she smelled bad and set her off... So why blame this one woman.

    We don't disagree that this chick is a bad person, but I'm not one to abuse the law in the name of vengeance or vindication. Once we start modifying or making up new criminal law on the fly, we're all screwed. And I for one value the future of our legal system over one family's misfortune.

     

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  64.  
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    Moderation, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    Shrue, that seems like

    the most reasonable thing you've posted. I'm not saying you can guard your kids 100% of the time, but seeing as the kid was diagnosed with depression, you'd think the parents would have been even MORE vigilant in protecting and monitoring her emotional state.

    Now that said... if the girl was that far gone and that close to the edge, then some kid at school could have told her she smelled bad and set her off... So why blame this one woman.

    We don't disagree that this chick is a bad person, but I'm not one to abuse the law in the name of vengeance or vindication. Once we start modifying or making up new criminal law on the fly, we're all screwed. And I for one value the future of our legal system over one family's misfortune.

     

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  65.  
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    JEQP, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:23pm

    Public Nuisance

    There are some laws available for police to use at their discretion. For example, is someone is doing something that is dangerous to themselves or others and won't stop the police can arrest them for "public nuisance". It allows them to stop the situation, and the person normally gets let off when they've sobered up or whatever. This is in Australia.

    I'm not comparing this to the Lori Drew case because I don't know the details of what she was charged with.

     

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  66.  
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    TKM, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    Re: She Should Be Sent Down For Something

    You are probably not all that well versed in law if that's as far as you're concerned.

     

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  67.  
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    mike, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    at some point you have to trust that you endowed enough resources on your child that he or she can deal independently with normal social occurrences.

    i tend to guess that ms drew was not a popular student when she was a teen, and was doing the same thing a lot of non-varsity dads do with their sons vis a vis sports or other manly activities. the crap i've seen and heard in my life as a dad of four kids...

     

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  68.  
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    Jason, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    Jesse, shut up and go finish 8th grade.

    Disclaimer: This message is only intended to encourage educational development. You are of course a valuable and special person, so don't kill yourself, just go learn some basic writing and critical thinking skills.

     

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  69.  
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    Abdul, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    So true!! I can't add a thing except that is she is found guilty, then the consequences will be huge and many of us won't like that: MySpace Suicide Indictment Raises Legal Questions(http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=515&doc_id=154737&F_src=flf two)

     

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  70.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    Moderation - I agree!!

    I guess we have some common ground after all...I also hate to see our legal system "abused" and distorted to someone's end...my basic libertatian leaning probably. My only point was that sometimes justice can be hard to find in the world and I personally hate the thought that Drew would get to walk away from her deeds scott free, while leaving the grieving parents to deal with a childs death for the rest of their lives.

    But...like I said, I basically agree that the parents should have done more to protect their child....

     

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  71.  
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    Jason, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    Re: but that's the kind...

    Different Mike, surely?

    Because I've seen Masnick exaggerate, hype, bend and stretch a story, but never slippery-slope all the way from parental involvement to nuclear war!

     

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  72.  
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    Ronald Reagain, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 2:36pm

    I'm Guilty Right Now

    The Feds are not saying the perp harassed the kid. The Feds are saying the Perp registered with a fake name, violated the AUP, the use of Myspace was therefore unauthorized, and thus broke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Well, my name here is fake and I am impersonating the Great Ronald McReagan. Hopefully I am breaking this sites AUP by doing so to prove a point - There are many many many of us who use fake names to protect privacy or be anonymous. That is the "illegal" act in question. Using a fake name does not make you a cyberstalker and more than Jaywalking makes you a bank robber of the bank down the street. Using one law to punish someone for some other bad deed -- it just doesnt make any sense.

    As for kids - doing legal contortions wont protect them - good parenting is the best protection. My girls laugh at jerks online and they let me know when it happens.

     

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  73.  
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    Jason, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:11pm

    Open and shut case: for a civil courtroom

    Crime, oh gosh, maybe... but it's one helluva stretch. The only way I can see getting to fraud is claiming that the false identity was not for anonymity, but to bypass the protections of a private account. Still a helluva stretch.

    That said, this seems like a pretty clear cut civil case. Drew had an obligation not to harass a teenage girl, the harassment could probably be linked quite easily to the distressed state that caused her suicide, esp. with documented statements like "the world would be better off without you".

    I agree with the sentiments of others here that wrong was clearly done and clearly someone should have to pay - but if no crime was committed, then make her pay civil, even punitive damages.

    Murder, manslaughter? No way. Fraud - really pushing it. Wrongful death, absolutely.

     

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  74.  
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    Benjie, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:15pm

    Depression in general

    I'd just give the girl a Darwin Award. She did it to herself, and no one can be blamed except her.... Ma'b her parents for not recognizing any problems.

    Suicide is like diabetes. Let evolution weed out the gene pool

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:17pm

    Re: has nothing to do with this..

    For Capone's case, what they charged him with (Tax Evasion) was illegal, and wasn't setting any precedent. Capone had evaded taxes, which was what the law was designed to prevent. In this case, the DA is trying to convict Lori Drew with computer fraud because she made a fake profile. The problem is, that's not fraud, and it's not what the law was designed to prevent. If this conviction goes through, a legal precedent will be made, and people who have truly done nothing wrong can be charged with computer fraud simply for wanting to remain anonymous.

     

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  76.  
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    John, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    Blame the harasser?

    Okay, let's play the "blame the harasser" game. Let's say that this woman is the devil and she's evil and she knew that her actions would cause the girl to kill herself.

    Now, with that assumption, how should we feel about the jocks and football players who bullied Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and caused them to go on a shooting rampage at Columbine? Where those jocks "evil" for harassing Harris and Klebold? Did the harassment indirectly cause the deaths of all those people?

    Sure, the jocks didn't know what the end-result was going to be, but they certainly should have known better than to harass and bully other people.
    Yet, I don't recall anyone getting up in arms to prosecute the football players for harassing Harris and Klebold.

    Like many posters are saying, there are a lot more issues here than the simple "woman harasses girl, girl killed herself". Where were the parents? Where there warning signs that they should have been looking out for?
    Did the girl have any other mental problems, such as a family history of depression?

    Or are we all out for some good old-fashioned mob justice? She done it, we know she done it, so let's string 'er up!

     

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  77.  
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    Lori Drew, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:41pm

    You all suck. Go kill yourselves.



    Lawsuit anyone?

     

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  78.  
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    Michael, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 3:56pm

    Absurdity is not Proof

    Mike -- Your only argument for why the CFAA is not applicable is to pose the seeming absurdity -- If what the DA says is true, then we're all lawbreakers, and that's absurd. You then go on to draw the conclusion -- Therefore, what the DA says must not be true.

    (Admittedly I'm paraphrasing and reframing your argument into my words. Please jump in if you think I've mischaracterized the argument!)

    That ain't necessarily so. Just because a law, when drawn to its logical breadth, leads to absurd results does not by itself mean the law is vague or otherwise unenforceable. At most, it means it's an absurd law. But, that makes it no less the law, even if it's absurd. (You can hack at a criminal-sanctioned law for vagueness, but there's no constitutional obligation to have laws make any common sense!)

    Judges aren't supposed to second-guess what the legislature hath wrought (or else they get labeled as 'judicial activists', no?). So, it's not the judge's job to rewrite the law just because he/she thinks it's absurd.

    Rather than getting into arguments about what this means or whether it's enforceable, maybe the efforts should instead be to get a re-write of the CFAA (and its many state-level equivalents) to avoid another absurd result tomorrow. That won't help Lori Drew of course...

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: The DA that filed charges

    Ever been to a jail or prison?
    You have?

     

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  80.  
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    Denise, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:13pm

    I can't believe I am even posting on here, but I find it so interesting how people pass judgment upon others, without ever walking a mile in their shoes. You did not know Tina Meier, or Megan Meier, you did not know the status of her daughter's condition. You are all making assumptions with no facts, knowledge or education in the area of cyber-stalking and cyber-harassment.

    I do know these people personally. Have any of you ever studied depression? Did you know Megan was being treated? Did you know you don't get over depression over night? Shame on all of you for passing judgment on people when you have never walked in their shoes and until you do - let the first one cast the stone.

    When you are an adult and you deliberately cause emotional distress, stalking, harassment to a minor - there are already laws on the books that protect minors. There was nothing about electronic communications. Now there is - so watch out you adults that don't get it - you cannot and I repeat cannot act out with intent to emotionally or physically inflict harm upon a child! It is just that simple. Get it or don't!

     

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  81.  
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    Random Cellist, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Absurdity is not Proof

    Border-line straw-man.....

    I think you have misrepresented his argument with the word "absurdity" and also what exactly the inconsistent thing in question is. Mikes' point is that the legislation in question is being misused, not that the law itself is poor.

    It's the execution of the law he has a problem with not the law itself. At least, that's how I read it.....(I'm no authority really)

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:17pm

    Re: has nothing to do with this..

    This isn't about Lori creating a fake account, this is about her OTHER actions;
    You know what? I bet Lori was breathing at the same time too. Maybe she should be charged with a crime for that too. With each and every breath she was expelling deadly CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the air around her! So charge her with chemical terrorism too!

     

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  83.  
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    Jason, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    Depends, what state are you in? Is being a moron a tortious offense?

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Misuse of law

    You've never been charged for using an anonymous account because you've never committed a real crime involving it.
    You mean using an anonymous account isn't a crime? Then what crime is Lori charged with?

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    Have any of you ever studied depression? Did you know Megan was being treated? Did you know you don't get over depression over night?

    That doesn't have anything to do with anything. You're using your emotions instead of critical thinking.

    When you are an adult and you deliberately cause emotional distress, stalking, harassment to a minor - there are already laws on the books that protect minors.

    Except that since she wasn't found to break any of those laws, they decided to make up a new law to charge her with.

    There was nothing about electronic communications.

    Why does there need to be something about electronic communications? It doesn't make a difference.

    Now there is - so watch out you adults that don't get it - you cannot and I repeat cannot act out with intent to emotionally or physically inflict harm upon a child! It is just that simple. Get it or don't!

    If you're emotionally harmed by reading things on the Internet, then you have problems personal problems unrelated to things you read on the Internet.

    Good luck with puberty, Denise. I hope that's your real name, because you could otherwise be charged with computer fraud under the new law.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Come on ehrichweiss are you serious!?

    If you impersonate someone else...a Doctor perhaps
    Pretending to be doctor if you aren't is illegal anyway. Your bridge scenario has nothing to do with it.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Come on Moderation are you that dense!?

    So you have proof that Lori Drew is innocent? Nope, you don't. That's just your agenda talking.

    It's a legal doctrine known as "presumption of innocence". Maybe they don't have it in your country but it is well known in the US.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    Re: This is all bull

    How do we divide the guilt for his death?
    More and more these days, that what the courts do. They go through the list and (sometimes arbitrarily it seems) assign percentage points of blame to all involved.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Moderation - stick to the real facts here

    You must not have any teen age kids of your own, or you would not make the stupid statement that the parents should have protected her by keeping her off the internet. Try keeping any teen aged kid off of My Space or other social network....come on, get real...they LIVE to be connected on the web or any other device that they can chat on. I hardly think you can expect the parents to have 100% supervision at all times...NOT very realistic.
    Let's reword that like what some bad parents a generation ago were saying:

    You must not have any teen age kids of your own, or you would not make the stupid statement that the parents should have protected her by keeping her off drugs. Try keeping any teen aged kid off of heroin or other hard drug....come on, get real...they LIVE to be high on crack or any other drug that they can get. I hardly think you can expect the parents to have 100% supervision at all times...NOT very realistic.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Absurdity is not Proof

    Therefore, what the DA says must not be true.
    I didn't see where Mike said that. I think you're "paraphrasing and reframing" trying to put words into Mike's mouth.
    Judges aren't supposed to second-guess what the legislature hath wrought (or else they get labeled as 'judicial activists', no?).
    Wrong. Judges are supposed to interpret the law. That's part of their job.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Griper, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 5:15pm

    How's this for logical?

    In your logical world, what happens when people aren't held accountable for their actions?

    I've been reading this site for sometime now. When patent hoarders sue everyone under the sun you get your panties in a bunch. Go back and look at all your logic then, they aren't breaking the law, in fact they are well within their rights. That doesn't stop you from trying to get laws cvhanged now does it? You seem to cheer when the slimmest gain can be made. Almost as if its okay to twist the laws in your favor but when it doesn't suit your needs you cry foul. How is that?

    Should this woman be punished for her actions, yes. But they shouldn't have to twist a law to suit a DA's need.

     

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  92.  
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    Phillip, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 6:04pm

    Re: How's this for logical?

    Which would be why Mike says we need patent reform. He knows the system is broken and they are within their rights to sue since they currently have a patent for it. This is precisely why he keeps saying we need patent reform. These laws and the way patents are awarded need to be changed

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: The DA that filed charges

    Hey Matt,
    Just exactly which house is yours? Is it the one with the for-sale sign in the yard and portable basketball goal in the street?

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 6:31pm

    Re: ........

    you are fucking morons who can't see past the ends of their noses or think further than a child.

    We're Americans. We don't have to think because we're always right.

     

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  95.  
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    srhue, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward - stick to the real facts

    Your rewording of my paragraph regarding the use of My Space by teens, to your statement about what "some bad parents a generation ago " were saying, is a really poor analogy.

    ["You must not have any teen age kids of your own, or you would not make the stupid statement that the parents should have protected her by keeping her off drugs. Try keeping any teen aged kid off of heroin or other hard drug....come on, get real...they LIVE to be high on crack or any other drug that they can get. I hardly think you can expect the parents to have 100% supervision at all times...NOT very realistic."]

    The use of illegal drugs like crack and herion have nothing to do with chatting on My Space....how rediculous. I don't believe any parent from any time period ever would say anything of the sort...(maybe pot smoking, but not hard drugs, hehe!!). If they would say that, they would then become morons by definition...

    I anxiously await your witty response...

     

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  96.  
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    Eldakka, Jul 24th, 2008 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Absurdity is not Proof

    Actually, the Supreme Court CAN strike down a law on grounds such as 'too vague', 'overly broad', etc.

     

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  97.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 8:36am

    Re: has nothing to do with this..

    The difference is that tax evasion was already established as a crime in itself. Violation of a site's TOS has never been prosecuted as a criminal action. It can get you kicked off the site, or in some cases, maybe even sued in civil court for breach of contract. It is NOT a criminal action, however. Setting a precedent that makes it criminal fundamentally threatens anonymity and privacy online.

     

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  98.  
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    Michael, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Absurdity is not Proof

    Guys -- I don't agree that it's vague. I think it's absurd -- And absurdity is NOT grounds for any judge, including the Supreme court, to void the law. Find me a case that says that -- It doesn't exist. Nor is it valid to argue that the DA is misusing the law -- If it's within the boundaries of the law, it's valid for the DA to use the law in that fashion until the legislature changes the law.

    I do think it's perfectly legitimate for any of us to argue that the DA failed to use his prosecutorial DISCRETION in a manner designed to move forward sound public policy. I'm behind you on that one. The whole concept of prosecutorial discretion has long existed to acknowledge the fact that prosecutors COULD bring many cases they choose not to bring. But, it's equally true that courts are incredibly reluctant to overturn a prosecutor's choice simply because they didn't think the prosecutor made a wise choice--So long as the choice was one that could logically be made under the statute, then the prosecutor's right to use the statute in that fashion is more or less unbounded by the law. (Imagine if that weren't true -- We tell prosecutors they can only prosecute if the crime fits within the logical bounds of the written statute so that we can protect all of ourselves from prosecutors enforcing laws that don't exist. The corrolary to that is that if the prosecutor can make a case under the statute as it's written, the prosecutor is within his/her rights to use it that way. Play by the rules -- It's a double edged sword!)

    I know Mike didn't use the word 'absurd' - But he very clearly was using the rhetorical device of reductio ad absurdum. Go look it up. My point is that the premise of proving absurdity is not, by itself, a constitutional basis to defeat the use of the law, so reductio ad absurdum is not a legitimate argument to prove the law is improperly used here.

    (And, no, I'm not wrong--Judges do NOT second-guess the legislature when they interpet. Rather, interpretation is the art of trying to figure out what they said and meant, but only then if the plain words of the statute don't themselves answer the question. If the judge hides behind 'interpretation' in the course of second-guessing whether they think the legislature did a good job, that's judicial activism, not interpretation.)

     

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  99.  
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    wasnt me, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Re: Wouldn't it be funny if

    dopus thats a very bad joke if i ever heard of.
    =====

    back to subect: if Lori Drew had done all this using snail mail or other non-Internet related forms of communication what would have she been charged with?

    i think thats is the only question to ask.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Anonymous Coward - stick to the real facts

    I anxiously await your witty response...
    Since you obviously don't have a clue, here's a link to explain it for you.

     

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  101.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward - stick to the real facts

    Hmmm...well, perhaps the intent was satire. However, in reading the post in question, I can only say that it was bad, irrelevant satire.

    I agree with your sentiment. It is the parents' job to keep a close eye on their children; it is the parents' job, after all, to teach their children how to be adults and deal with difficulties like this girl experiences. Children do not have the "right" to be online, on MySpace, etc. It is a privelege, and it is the parents' job to take that privelege away if it becomes clear that the child can't handle it.

    However, srhue is right about your analogy, or "satire," as you improperly define it. It had no relevence to the issue at hand.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Absurdity is not Proof

    Rather, interpretation is the art of trying to figure out what they said and meant, but only then if the plain words of the statute don't themselves answer the question.
    And who makes that decision? Guess what, it is the judge who determines what those "plain words" mean and whether or not they are sufficiently self-explanatory.
    If the judge hides behind 'interpretation' in the course of second-guessing whether they think the legislature did a good job, that's judicial activism, not interpretation.)
    People who like a judges decision applaud it, those who don't call it "judicial activism".

     

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  103.  
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    Zap, Jul 26th, 2008 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward - stick to the real facts

    However, srhue is right about your analogy, or "satire," as you improperly define it. It had no relevence to the issue at hand.

    The original poster never claimed it to be an analogy, that strawman seems to have built by srhue and you, hegemon13. Furthermore, I would say that it is you who is improperly defining satire if you think it is the same thing as an analogy.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2008 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward - stick to the real facts

    "satire," as you improperly define it.
    Heh, the link I provided was to an article about satire on Wikipedia. If you think it's wrong, then change it. But be warned, you better have something better than your personal opinion to base it on or it will probably be quickly reverted. As to personal opinions, mine is that you're full of it.

     

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  105.  
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    Burlingme, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 11:24pm

    Lori Drew keep your head up

    Megan died by her own hands and this is a good thing could you imagine if she became an adult, this world is better off without her trouble is trouble no matter if you are good at sex or not.

     

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  106.  
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    Ron, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 7:29pm

    There is a differnce between

    Telling someone there's a rope over there to hang yourself, and basically handing he the rope on a silver platter.

    Half the people reading this have harassed someone into some kind of depression, so they're using this situation as an excuse to validate their own behavior. You can deny it all you want, but it won't make it any less true.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    George, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 7:18am

    Lori Drew

    If the Feds convict Lori Drew today, what is to say that they won't come for you or me tomorrow, based on unacceptable Internet speech ? I wouldn't call this a slippery slope; more like a cliff.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    laura mallory, Feb 12th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    Lori Drew

    I'm not sure this 'adult' will ever know what she did,, but here it is, she did not preform her job (as the adult) in this situation. She was there to be the voice of reason. I think she should be convicted of negligent man slaughter. You do not set out to kill someone when you drink and drive ( you are just having fun)and yet there you are.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    دردشه, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    tamkyo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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