Defense In Lori Drew Case Rests, As Judge Considers Dismissing The Case

from the time-to-end-this dept

The case against Lori Drew looks weaker and weaker by the day. The defense has rested its side, and the judge is considering whether to dismiss the case outright after it was established that it wasn't even Drew who set up the account used to communicate with Megan Meier. Based on that, it's even more ridiculous (and it already was ridiculous) to charge Drew with computer fraud for violating the terms of service -- considering she wasn't even there to review the terms of service, nor did she actually set up (or use, apparently) the account. This case has been a travesty from the start. Yes, people somehow want vengeance for Meier's suicide, but trumped up bogus charges against Drew don't help matters. It's nothing more than a witch hunt against someone who it appears did not actually break the law. If people want the law to be changed -- then work to change the law, but don't twist the laws to convict Drew.


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    Eisenhans, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 5:48am

    Drew

    BS ! Go straight to jail,do not pass go,do not collect anything.

     

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    Norm, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 5:58am

    Sick

    What she did was sick. Perhaps there isn't a criminal case here, but there sure as heck is a civil one.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:24am

      Re: Sick

      That I would be all for. Neglegence or harrassment or child abuse or whatever. Give her charges that make sense. Creating a 'fake' MySpace page isn't against the law (even if it IS against MySpace TOS). Drew clearly seems to be a fairly wretched woman, but lets not do something stupid just to make her pay for it.

       

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    Muslickz, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:35am

    Re:Sick

    Yea, I think it would be more of a civil matter TBH. But I can see a lawsuit here most certainly.

     

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    miNDY, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    if it was my daughter

    I am sorry but if it was my daughter in Megan's shoes that "woman" (animal), would have never made it to LA. We need to stop bullying in our schools and cyber bullying in our homes. Why is it these days the good people are just sitting aside and letting evil people seep into our lives. Can't we get enough
    "balls" to stick up to people like Lori? Or even as adults we just sit back because we are still afraid of bullies?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:58am

      Re: if it was my daughter

      Stick up to them, sure, but what do you want to do about it? The problem is that there's not enough evidence to get a reasonable criminal case against Drew; what they're trying to do in this case is twist existing laws in a way so they can get some kind of punishment on Drew for actions unrelated to the charges. That's a problem.

      If this is a real issue, if you think there should be a criminal charge here somewhere, then we need to enact the appropriate laws to make it so. It's unfortunate that those laws don't currently exist, but you can't just bend existing laws to fit.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:05am

      Re: if it was my daughter

      So lynching is okay then? Then Lori Drew's family would be right to string you up after you murder her? Sick people have families that care about them too you know.

      This is why we have Rule of Law. Shit like what you said just leads to genocide. You need to grow up.

      You don't pervert the law to fit your own desires. If a law is unjust, you fight to get it changed. If you need an example like that, various civil rights movements, particularly in the 1960's, are great examples.


      Oh. And the people that are 'sticking up' for Lori are not doing it because they are afraid of bullies. They are doing it because they aren't short sighted enough to miss the consequences of their actions if they go down that path.

      The values of this country have been falling apart well enough without accelerating the process. One of the bigger points was you don't punish people on whim. If there is no crime (as in the LEGAL definition of a crime) then there can be no punishment.

      And this is a good thing. Like Larry Flint said: "If the Constitution will protect me, the worst, then it will definitely protect you."

      People like you miNDY are why we have our rights being chipped away because you fear terrorists. Or feel its okay to "lie a little" in order use the judicial system for revenge (the Lori Drew case).

      You make me sick. To be willing to sell your soul for perceived saftey, for abusing the system to punish those that have "done you wrong". Such childish desires.

      What about Megan's parents? Where were they in her life? Why didn't they know about the boy on MySpace? Why didn't they see how depressed she was and try to do something about it?

       

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    jonnyq, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Huh...

    After finally sitting and reading the Wikipedia article about this, the charges are even more outrageous.

    Drew didn't even send the final "wish you were dead" (paraphrase) message. The girl was fairly unstable already. The girl had every opportunity to end the communication. The parents had every opportunity to end the communication.

    "Cyber-bullying" is nothing like real bullying. You can always block and email address, block a MySpace friend, or choose not to respond to a bully. In real life, bullies can follow you around against your will, physically harm you, and force you to hear things they say. Your computer, however, has a delete button. I think the parents are much more responsible than Drew.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:04am

      Re: Huh...

      I'm actually curious why the parents aren't getting more scrutiny. Sure, to the extent that her emotional problems were medical/chemical there's only so much you can do, but shouldn't they have been aware enough of their daughter to know about this boy and the effect he was having on her? Especially if their daughter had mental/emotional/depression problems, they should have been moreinvolved.

       

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      hyphen, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 9:59am

      Re: Huh...

      Completely agree with jonnyq here. The parents should have noticed what was going on with their daughter, and if they were more involved with here this tragedy possible could have been prevented.

       

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    Jay, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    Sick...

    Sick yes for sure... but as you can read she (Lori Drew) never had direct contact with the girl or the account and the account "WAS NOT" set up by her... and she DID NOT accept the "terms of service" so if anything it was her friend who did accept the terms that could have anything else done to them... but if i remember correctly they granted her pardon because she testified against Lori and messed up the case
    The only punishment Lori Drew will receive is the knowledge that she helped her daughter and co-worker taught a little girl until she killed herself...

     

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    Greg, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Hmmm

    You people are the sick ones, wanting someone to pay for something they didn't do.

    How about I come to your house, get on your computer, set up a fake account and claim I'm you, and do this to someone (and, honestly, I don't care what I say to taunt or torment someone, it's ultimately the "victims" responsibility if they decide to make themselves assume room temperature) until they commit suicide. Well, it isn't MY fault. It's YOURS because it's YOUR name, YOUR computer, YOUR IP address, YOUR FAULT that said victim offed themselves.

     

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    NullOp, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:45am

    First Amendment

    The first amendment gives me the right to tell you something like "wish you were dead." If that hurts you, you can try litigation using tort law.

    Now to say cyber-bullying is nothing like real bullying shows a huge disconnect! They are both exactly the same thing: bullying. We will never end bullying, especially since managers love it so much, but it is a potentially criminal act.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:01am

      Re: First Amendment

      Please explain how bullying is a potentially criminal act. i'm unclear on that.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:16am

      Re: First Amendment

      "Now to say cyber-bullying is nothing like real bullying shows a huge disconnect! They are both exactly the same thing: bullying."

      You are wrong. Here is why you are wrong:

      * In cyber-bullying you have a plethora of ways to block communication from the bully.
      * In cyber-bullying there is no way to be forced into anything.
      * In cyber-bullying there are no physical attacks on your person.


      "We will never end bullying, especially since managers love it so much, but it is a potentially criminal act."

      How can it be a criminal act? I don't think you know how the law works in the U.S. if you are saying that. Possibly there could be some tort or other civil case brought up by bullying, but not criminal.

      Bullying happens. Particularly with boys. MOST boys learn to deal with it. This is why guys act the way they do, like that whole "You know how I know you're gay?" bit from 40 Year Old Virgin.

      You just have to learn to not let it get to you, and usually returning the fire will gain you some friends (not from the bully you're making fun of usually) in the long run.

      I don't know how girls deal with bullying. I know some girls can be bullys, but damn. Most cases of bullying are NOT harmful. It's those rare handfuls where an adult needs to step in and help the kid that are dangerous.

      The fix for that? A good school staff and good parenting. Do your job, TEACH the kid.


      Which brings up the most important point from this case: Where the hell were the parents of Megan?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: First Amendment

        Boys tend to have the most physical bullies, who use intimidation and the threat of physical harm. Girls have bullies, too, but they tend to be emotional bullies who use intimdation and the threat of social harm.

         

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          jonnyq, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:42am

          Re: Re: Re: First Amendment

          But again, you can avoid "emotional bullying" by not paying attention: block email, delete messages without reading them, etc.

          In school, for example, you're required to be in the same room with a bully and can't block what they have to say.

          Physicality is not the only difference. If you fail to see how easy it is to avoid people on the internet, then you need internet lessons before you get on it.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: First Amendment

            Oh, I wasn't arguing against you, just notimng that girls have their fair share of bullies. it's just a different kind of bully. Boys have emotional bullies too, but that's not the point.

            If the bully is only on the Internet, you're right, though I'd note it's more difficult if a bully from school 'follows' you onto the internet, too. An emotional bully is especially apt to be effective online.

            But none of that's the point. Bullying online does have different dynamics than bullying in the physical world, I agree.

             

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      Sean, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:39am

      Re: First Amendment

      If they were "exactly the same thing," they wouldn't have different names.

      Cyber-bullying isn't the same as physical bullying, anyone who believes that is a complete moron. On the Internet, you can close AIM, stop logging into MySpace, block emails, delete them w/o opening them - you have innumerable ways to disconnect from the bully.

      Are you telling me online relationships between two people who play World of Warcraft and the marriage you have with your wife in your house and in your bed at night are the "exact same thing" too? Because for all intents and purposes, you are saying the "e-counterpart" of a physical relationship (bully to victim, or husband and wife) are the same?

      Really, did you even think about this at all?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:13am

      Re: First Amendment

      First Amendment does not cover threats. That sounds like a reasonable threat to me. The First Amendment is not a blanket that covers everything we say. It does not cover libel, obscenity, and slander to name a few.

       

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        Pat, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re: First Amendment

        I fail to see how: "The world would be a better place without you" is a threat. That sounds like a statement of opinion (which is entirely covered by the First Amendment). To our collective knowledge, Drew never threatened Meier. And on top of that, how can a threat coerce someone into suicide? (I'm going to make you commit suicide???)

         

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        Phillip Vector, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re: First Amendment

        "It does not cover libel, obscenity, and slander to name a few."

        Libel or slander, I'll accept (though I suspect that I shouldn't be).

        Shit, fucking obscenity? Hell yeah it's motherfucking protected dickweed.

        I hope you know that I say that will all kinds of love and merely trying to prove a point. The First Amendment isn't there to make you all warm and cosey. It's there so people can speak their mind.

         

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    Brian Mercer, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    Fine, drop the case. Fact is where there is smoke there is fire and it appears she meddled with the teens affairs. No law against that other then that is wierd. She should play with people her own age. The only thing I can say is Lori Drew is not pleasing on the eyes and can stand to shed a few pounds. Well actually she is butt ugly and fat if you want to get technical. ( see not very mature was that-- same kind of crap she dealt in with Megan Meier-- think about it.. not illegal but should she go on in life like everything is hunky dory?) You tell me.

     

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    r. decline, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:03am

    again....

    it would seem that an adult woman pretending to be an underage boy to win the affection of an underage girl, and encourages other underage girls to do so as well has some chargeable offense to it. hey, where is dateline lol.


    "Based on that, it's even more ridiculous (and it already was ridiculous) to charge Drew with computer fraud for violating the terms of service -- considering she wasn't even there to review the terms of service, nor did she actually set up (or use, apparently) the account."

    and what kind of free pass is that you think should be handed out? feigned or not, ignorance is not a defense or and excuse. if it is though, there are going to be a lot of things i will just "not be available" to review.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:09am

      Re: again....

      If you don't review the TOS of a service you don't use, you can't be held accountable for breaking them (mostly because you didn't use the service).

      If you don't review a contract you signed, you're still legally bound, just dumb.

      Even at that, breaking TOS is NOT against the law; it would be a civil case, if it even went that far. Generally, breaking TOS just gets your account removed. This is not a criminal case.

      As to your firt bit, it's not clear that anything said had any kind of sexual implications, so I'm not sure where you're going with that. Adults are able to interact with children on a social level; that's not against the law, either.

       

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        r. decline, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re: again....

        true that "generally" breaking a TOS isn't a crime, but in some cases it is, but if i can just not review the tos as my defense then does that give me a pass if microsoft comes in and asks why i have only purchased one copy of their software and installed it on 250 machines at my company? i don't agree 100% with this case but this "no chance to review" thing is shaky at best.

        there is some loose evidence that there was an online relationship of a sexual nature. maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. regardless of that, yes adults can interact with children...there is something wrong with doing so via an underage persona.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:30am

          Re: Re: Re: again....

          Name a single case where violating the TOS was a crime. There ISN'T one in the US.

          Also, your example is flawed. Software Licenses != Website TOS. Possibly you are thinking of the EULA, which is also different than the license.

          Also read the details of the case. Lori Drew did NOT create the account. Lori Drew did NOT have direct access to the account.

          I'm starting to have a feeling that this was a bit of a prank from Lori's perspective that got out of hand, or that she was told it was a prank or something. We may never know for sure, but either way I'm wondering if Lori is as sick as people try to make her out to be.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: again....

            If her 'business associate' was the one who sent the final "better off dead" message, she's the one who should be at the pointy end of all this, not Drew. Too bad about that immunity for testifying...

             

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            Monarch, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: again....

            For those of you who didn't read about this case. Lori Drew agreed to the MySpace in order to get evidence that Megan Meier was bullying her daughter, to take that evidence to Megan Meier's parents.

            So the teenage employee of Lori Drew's created an account to try to befriend Megan to get dirt on Megan to take to Megan's parents. They didn't get what they wanted, decided to end the friendship and close the fake Josh Myspace account, and in doing so, the teenage employee of Lori Drew's, sent an IM to Megan saying the "World would be better off without her"

            Now, no one expected that would cause Megan to commit suicide, but it happened. Is Lori a monster? Not in my opinion. Was it a far fetched plan, that probably should not have been done? Probably. Heck, even Lori's husband knew about it. The plan was to get evidence to show Megan's parents that their daughter isn't the perfect princess that they think she is.

            If anyone should be ostracized as monsters, it should be Megan's parents. If Megan's parents didn't think their daughter was perfect, the plan to befriend her over a fake Myspace account would have never happened. If Megan's parents didn't think their daughter was perfect, they would have monitored her internet usage more carefully. If Megan's parents were actually more interested in their daughter, they would have known she was unstable, and Megan would probably still be alive today.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:34am

          Re: Re: Re: again....

          The questionable nature of EULAs has been discussed elsewhere. There's some argument that, yes, you could defend yourself in such a case. Additionally, if a TOS lines up with established laws, then breaking the TOS involves breaking the law, but breaking TOS is not the same as breaking the law, even in that case. I think the circumstances of the Drew case are such that it's enough to establish reasonable doubt, and if this is a criminal case then that's enough.

          There might be something off or weird about doing so via a fake and/or underaged persona, but there's nothing wrong with it in a legal sense.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    I think they need to make an example out of Ms. Drew! Parents need to parents to there children and teach them good factors in life. Not to bully!We are suppose to be moms not friends.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      Then they should make an example of Megan's parents, not Drew. Where were Megan's parents while she spiraled down into suicidal depression over a fake boy online?

       

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    Dave, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:11am

    First off, it's a tough world out there and if you can't take some teasing then you probably won't make it far in life. I was teased, beat up, and picked on in school but managed not to kill myself. The fact this girl killed herself over some comments on myspace suggests she had some mental issues.

    Second, you do have the option to ignore or block someone who is harassing you. You also have the option to file a complaint with your local law enforcement to make it stop. This will help with the eventual lawsuit you can file against the offender.

    As far as the bully goes. Yes it was in bad taste and I certainly see a civil case against them. I don't think what they did was right, however we can't afford as a society to put everyone who hurts someones feelings in jail, it's just not reasonable.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      Hear hear!

      I was picked on a bit in school myself. Got into a few fights. Once you learn to deal with it, they stop bugging you. Never had that issue in high school because the bullies had learned I wasn't worth the trouble.

      Kids make fun of people outside of their group of friends usually. Rivalries tend to do that, it seems natural to people. So really, you have to learn to handle being teased. If it goes beyond that you HAVE to either fight back or ask for help.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re:

        Adults make fun of people; many of us aren't as far beyond high school as we like to pretend.

        I was bullied a lot, too. I don't think it was a good thing, I don't want it for my kids, and I don't think it's something we should allow just because "that's the way the world is." At the same time, I don't think we should be criminalizing it, either. There are constructive ways of dealing with bullies that don't involve the cops or government intervention.

         

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    John, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    hmm..

    I can't say I'm on Drew's side and I do think she should be punished for her actions, but I also must say that to me suicide is a sign of mental weakness/ilness , which possibly should have been diagnosed...what about the mother? Where was she when her daughter was in such agony as to induce suicide? I don't think that is something you just "miss" at the dinner table.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:44am

      Re: hmm..

      To play advocate for the mother, some kids can be pretty good at hiding their emotional lives. I don't think Megan was such a kid, but especially if the breakdown of her relationship with 'Josh' happened very rapidly and very suddenly (I don't think it did), her parents might not have known.

       

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    Sean, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    In cases like these, it is always the parents of the victim pointing fingers - and they always spin in a circle blaming everyone around them - but the finger never turns inward.

    Their daughter committed suicide - where are they during this entire ordeal? Why doesn't she feel she can speak to her parents about it?

    The one who is at fault is typically the one looking to blame everyone, and this is no exception - spinning in a circle blaming everyone for everything while in reality, it is their own fault.

     

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    Sean, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    In cases like these, it is always the parents of the victim pointing fingers - and they always spin in a circle blaming everyone around them - but the finger never turns inward.

    Their daughter committed suicide - where are they during this entire ordeal? Why doesn't she feel she can speak to her parents about it?

    The one who is at fault is typically the one looking to blame everyone, and this is no exception - spinning in a circle blaming everyone for everything while in reality, it is their own fault.

     

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    Pat, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    The problem with the whole argument is that bullying, moral or immoral, is not an unlawful action. Unfortunately, it is extremely prevalent in American society, and attempting to "make an example of Drew" is doing nothing but setting an extremely dangerous precedent. At that point, you must define what is bullying and what is not; and how can you possibly do that? There is a massive gray area with regard to the conjecture of good humor and bullying. In Drew's case, the gray area may be smaller, but nonetheless, Meier's parents are far more at fault than Drew. If Drew hadn't said it, Meier most likely would have heard it eventually, regardless of circumstance. While this doesn't make Drew's actions just, we cannot punish her for her actions because what she did was in no way liable for punishment through criminal litigation, regardless of what you believe. Law is law, and she has broken none of it. You could potentially raise a harassment case, but there must be a clear disconnect between the suicide and the harassment. When someone is brought into court for a case of harassment, they are tried for the act of harassment, not the harassee's reaction to the harassment. Thankfully, we have judges like George Wu who understand that we cannot legally prosecute someone on matters that are not in direct violation of law.

     

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    arbulus, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    the law should be changed

    the law should be changed. If you say or do somethi g that directly causes someone to commit suicide, you should be charged with manslaughter. That's what no one seems to get here: this woman is directly responsible for the death of the girl. No, she didn't tie the noose, but she might as well have. When you tell some one that the world would be better off without them or that they should go kill themselves, and then that person does kill themselves, you are responsible. You could have pulled he trigger yourself and it would be no different. What's even worse is that this is an adult perpetrating this act of malice toward a minor. If lori drew cannot be charged with being responsible for the girl's death, then the law should be changed so that anyone in the future will be charged with manslaughter.

     

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      Mike, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 8:53am

      Re: the law should be changed

      first of all NO ONE cause a sane person to commit suicide, if this didn't cause it something else would have, the onus is on Meagans parents who let her use the internet unsupervised and obviously had no idea what was going on in their daughters life. Did the Drew's act in an obscene manner ? Yes they did. And as a result they are now hated by most people in the country, have had to move, lost their jobs, their daughter is now in need of psychological counseling, but by no stretch of the imagination did they make Meagan kill herself, Meagan was mentally unstable, and she died because her parents did not know and did not intervene. Reading these posts makes me realize just how ignorant most people are about the law, and about suicide. I have had friends growing up who threatened suicide, and my response was generally get counseling or just do it already, as 99% of the time it is a cry for help, and the kids that talk about it just want someone to help them, and would not actually do it. In this case Meagans conditions was overlooked by her parents, the ones that are responsible to know what is going on in her life. The negligence here is on them and no on else.

       

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        arbulus, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 3:01pm

        Re: Re: the law should be changed

        people love to say that it is the fault of the deceased and just cry "unstability", but tell me, do you think it's ok to tell some one that they should die or the world would be better off without them? Do you seriously think that person could even be considered human? And especially over something as small as a disagreement?

        Someone may have already covered this, but free speech and yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre are very different worlds.

        Let's turn it around: if someone said such horribly cruel things to your child, which ended in their suicide, are you going to tell me that you wouldn't blame the antagonist? Are you really going to say, over your child's dead body, "well, that's free speech. Dead Little josie sure was an unstable idiot"? Even if your child was perfectly normal, or at least had lead you to believe they were?

        And to those pedanticizing my comments: I'm not talking about any old thing that one might say that would have a vague possibility of leading to someone suicide, i'm talking about directly telling someone that you wish they were dead, think they deserve to die or that the world would be better without them. I'm talking about malicious intent, not telling someone thst the thanksgiving turkey is a little dry, after which the cook hangs themselves thinking they are a failure. Malicious intent is at the core of this.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 4:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: the law should be changed

          if that happened to my kid I would know about it and be talking to the kid. I would see the suicide signs because I do something that is all to rare now-a-days: pay attention to my kids.

          if they acted depressed I'd take them to a psychologist. if they were suicidal I would get them commited so someone could watch over them and then I would visit them as often as possible.

          but the key difference is that I would involve myself in my kid's life. it isn't hard. it isn't always appreciated right away, but it works and makes things like this MUCH less likely to happen.

          oh, I also strive to teach youngsters some very important words by a very famous man: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
          Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

           

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            arbulus, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 5:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: the law should be changed

            I am completely all about involvement in my child's live. That really is the most important part of raising a child: being there and being involved. However, you were a teenager once and so was I. My parents never had any idea what I was thinking or feeling because I went out of my way to make sure that they didn't know. Teenagers are famous for that kind of thing. It's part of their development and struggle for independence. They want very much to have a life that doesn't involve their parents. So even if you are involved in your child's life and it appears that your child is happy, normal and cream of the crop, there could potentially be a world of problems that you would never have any idea about.

            Further, not everyone who commits suicide is obvious about it. I've known several people who committed suicide and all of our friends said that the day before and even the day of that person's death, they never had any idea whatsoever of what that person was about to do to themselves. That's the difference between people who really are suicidal and people who are crying for help. The ones who really want to die don't make a big deal of it, they just resign themselves to their choice and do it. The point is you just don't ever know.

            I do not believe that the deceased girl's parents are at fault here. People love the idea that anyone should be able to say anything they want to whomever they want, no matter how cruel, inhuman and horrific and expect that there should never be consequences. For a group of people who are always screaming "Where's personal responsibility? Damn this litigious society, people need to take responsibility for themselves" people really are jumping the fence on this issue. Where's the responsibility on the part of the adult who tells a teenager to kill their self? Where's the responsibility on the part of people to just be decent humans? Everyone wants to act like Lori Drew is being railroaded and treated unfairly. I just cannot fathom that someone wouldn't look at the situation and think that Drew is one of the worst people on the planet. No, I don't think she should be facing the specific charges against her currently, because they don't apply and it sets a bad precedent. However, I think manslaughter would be appropriate. And that is why I said that if there are currently no laws that apply manslaughter to a case like this, then there should be.

            This case needs to set the example to people that you cannot go around telling people to kill themselves and feel like you have a clean conscience when they do so. Free speech should be protected at all costs, but yelling "fire" in a crowded venue isn't a matter of free speech, nor should it ever be. If by yelling "fire" you cause a stampede and as a result 20 people are trampled to death because of your lie, then you are a murderer. You killed 20 people, not the stampeding horde. The Lori Drew case is no different.

            As anonymous pointed out, being who you are and saying what you feel is important, and that is a value that i hold very dear. But I would never with malicious intent tell someone that I think they should die, even if I thought that they should (which I wouldn't). There are lines of cruelty you just don't cross. If you hate someone that much, then just put them out of your life. Ignore them, stay away from them, cut ties with them - end your relationship with them and move on. What they do with themselves and their life after that isn't any of your concern anymore. There's no need to be cruel, even if you think it's justified.

            But if there is no appropriate law currently that can charge Lori Drew with the responsibility of the girl's death, then she should have her child taken away from her forever. She should not be allowed to have a child because she is so clearly a danger to children. And I think that laws should be crafted so that anyone with malicious intent encouraging someone's suicide should face manslaughter charges.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 5:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the law should be changed

              If you read up on the case you'll find that it wasn't Drew who said "the world would be better off without you," it was her employee, who apparently didn't tell anyone that's what she'd said at the time. Further more, there wasn't really malicious intent. drew et al decided to end their hoax and decided the best way would be to get Megan to end the friendship. In trying to do so they had 'josh' be really mean to her, and that comment (while an obvious poor choice in retrospect) was meant to make Megan angry, not (specifically) to hurt her or to make her do something stupid like kill herself. And what's MORE, the girl who DID send the poorly-chosen message didn't know that Megan had had emotional issues and depression. Drew is not the brightest woman in the world, and what happened was a real tradgedy, but I don't think there was ever any of the real malice you seem to think there was.

               

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                arbulus, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 6:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the law should be changed

                You honestly believe that there was no malicious intent? Seriously? Why is this case even an issue then? If there were no malicious intent, then the fake Myspace account would never have been created. And they said that the whole point of creating the account was to humiliate the deceased girl. Malice is was drove this situation from the beginning. And I simply do not believe that Lori Drew was ignorant of everything that was going on, and that she's an innocent victim of her employee's poorly chosen words. That's bullshit. Do you not see the defense's strategy here? Redirect responsiblity: "Lori Drew had nothing to do with this, it was her employee doing it all. And her employee had no idea that Megan had emotional problems, so her poorly chosen words were just that, poorly chosen and she just could not have known what would have happened. So she's not responsible and neither is Drew because she had no idea what was going on." If you believe that then you are a fool.

                 

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          Eldakka, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 5:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: the law should be changed

          if someone said such horribly cruel things to your child, which ended in their suicide, are you going to tell me that you wouldn't blame the antagonist?

          For starters, I'd blame myself for raising a horribly unbalanced child for whom a few harsh words would cause their suicide.

          Hell, I had a friend tell me the other week she hates me and wished I would die.

          Did I go off myself? Nope. A week later we got drunk together.

          There are little shits in life you have to learn to deal with. Get over it or live in a bubble.

           

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      jonnyq, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 10:28am

      Re: the law should be changed

      I'd call you an idiot, but you might go kill yourself.

       

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      Partially Anonymous, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 10:34am

      Re: the law should be changed

      Wow arbulus, do tell: How can a person predict which statements would "make" another person commit suicide?

      (hint: if a person is unstable, practically anything could set them off)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 5:01am

        Re: Re: the law should be changed

        No, no, he's talking about statements that would make a normal person kill themself, like... uhm...

         

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      Sean, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 10:56pm

      Re: the law should be changed

      All of this is wrong. The idea that you would use such incredibly vague terminology such as, "say or do something that directly causes someone to commit suicide, you should be charged with manslaughter" could basically mean ANYTHING. If they killed themselves after you LOOKED at them, boom, manslaughter? Wow.

      This woman is NOT directly responsible for the death of the girl, she didn't pull a trigger, stab a knife, or tie the noose as you put it, the girl didn't avoid the bullying and did herself in.

       

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        arbulus, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: the law should be changed

        No, I'm not talking about vague statements at all. If you'd read all of my comment, I'm talking about malice and malicious intent. As I said, if you just simply said that dinner wasn't that satisfying and the cook hanged themselves, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about straightforwardly telling someone you wish they were dead or that they should kill themselves. Wanting and wishing for someone someone to die, and encouraging them to do it is pulling the trigger if they actually do commit suicide.

         

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    hegemon13, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 9:31am

    Where is responsibility?

    Okay, I am going to get flamed here, but who made the decision to kill herself? Oh, that's right, Megan Meier! Lori may have been a bitch, but let's put the responsibility where it belongs. I am tired of always seeing those who commit suicide made out to be poor, innocent victims. Megan made the choice, and no one else, so the ultimate responsibility is hers. Suicide is never an acceptable course of action. I got bullied plenty, all through junior high and high school. I even had an assistant Scoutmaster who would stand by and laugh while his son and a couple of other kids would do things like kick us younger ones out of a canoe and leave us in the middle of the lake, or lock us in an outhouse, tip it over, and make us crawl out through the "hole". (Wonder why I quit Scouts?)

    Everybody has to put up with shit from the jerks of the world. Megan chose suicide. That was her decision, and she is the only one to blame.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 5:15am

      Re: Where is responsibility?

      In her defense, if she really did have emotional problems, she likely wasn't seeing things clearly. She still made the choice, yeah, but there are mitigating circumstances. More than Megan, I would blame her parents. Drew isn't a great model for anything, but I think saying she's responsible for Megan's death is a bit much.

       

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    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Nov 25th, 2008 @ 10:00am

    Glad to see this may turn out right.

    I have said since day one if they are going to persecute this woman for this than that should also prosecute the parents of the child who died.

    Much like the idiot who leaves a loaded gun on the counter and a kid kills himself while playing with it, they left their daughter playing with a dangerous computer she was obviously ill equipped to handle. If this woman is guilty then so are the kids parents.

     

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    Cipher, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Well

    Now it's in the hands of jury: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27912050/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 12:03pm

    Let Lori Drew walk, there is no law to deal with this. I do think her daughter should be taken out of that family situation. This woman should not be allowed to raise children anymore, we don't need more people in society like her. She obviously has emotional problems and can not think rationally. Rational adults do not resort to emotionally torturing teenagers like that (and it wouldn't matter if the outcome had been different, the fact is that this woman is a threat to her own daughter's well being). It might not be against the law to access a computer in that way, but this type of behavior should not be allowed by a civilized society.

     

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    Bill, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    Who's to blame?

    The parents? "Obviously" if a child is suicidal it "must" be the parent's fault. Anyone who says that has no clue about the role biology plays.

    Megan? After all, she did kill herself. She must be to blame. Yeah, right. When people are suicidal they often feel helpless, lacking control. They are easily influenced and lack the emotional stability to see beyond the here and now. Megan was depressed, someone told her she should kill herself and she, unable to see beyond her moment of pain and anguish exercised her control.

    The Drew family? Would Megan still be alive if the Facebook ruse didn't occur? Possibly. The Drew family knew that Megan had been counseled and was on meds. They knew that she wasn't stable. It's pure speculation to suggest that the Drew family knowingly pushed Megan to kill herself. However, what is known is that they psychologically manipulated an unstable girl until Megan terminated the relationship.

    Basing the case on a TOS is absurd. It's not cyberbullying either. Some say Megan could have ended the relationship anytime she wanted, when she exercised her control she did just that. Its a civil matter, not federal.

     

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    sophmoric azz, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27912050/ WHOA.. Lori and her daughter were beaten with an Ugly Fat Dike Stick. Isn't that reason enough to let them be? Not enough beer to get me to bed either one of them

     

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    Eisenhans, Nov 25th, 2008 @ 5:49pm

    Drew

    Surely if Julie Amero was in line for 40 years then this woman should be shot to the moon on next available Indian rocket !

     

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    Benjamin Wright, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 4:46am

    the poison that is cyberbullying

    Lori Drew's case is about cyberbullying, which is behavior for which society has little tolerance. Cyberbullying is poison for anyone it touches. An institution like a library or a school, which provides patrons, students or guests access to the Internet, has plentiful incentive to stamp out cyberbullying within its PCs. --Ben

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 5:20am

      Re: the poison that is cyberbullying

      If you still think this is about cyber-bullying, you're missing all the facts.

       

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    As an example, Nov 26th, 2008 @ 1:53pm

    There are several insulting comments on here about Lori that "could" make her kill herself. So do all you people insulting her feel you should be held responsible if she did?

    I think the answer is no, and that is because no sane person would kill themselves over mean comments. And once again, we can't afford to put everyone in jail simply because they insult someone or hurt their feelings.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2009 @ 5:55am

    why?

    why does this always happen i dont agree with who ever said that it is ok cause it is not it is horrible for somebody to die because of a grown women? why would a grown mother be so stupid?

     

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