stories filed under: "symbolic"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 2nd 2009 12:41pm
The Lori Drew verdict finding her guilty of computer hacking because she may have broken MySpace's terms of service (without even having read them) was a classic example of prosecutors trying to stretch the law to punish someone who did something they didn't like, but which wasn't against the law. The implications of the ruling were quite troubling, in that they could turn almost anyone into a criminal if prosecutors wanted to charge them as such. For months, though, the judge in the case has been weighing whether or not to overturn the ruling. It's not clear why it took so long, but the judge has in fact acquitted Drew on the three charges she was found guilty of by the jury. This is good news all around. No matter what you think of Drew and what she did, prosecutors twisted the law in a way that would have set an amazingly dangerous precedent. It will be interesting to see if there's an appeal, but for now, this is undeniably good news.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 13th 2009 6:31am
from the this-is-sickening dept
The prosecutors in the Lori Drew trial continue to make a mockery of the law. After pushing to give Drew the maximum three years in jail not because of what she was convicted for, but because she "has become the public face of cyberbullying," prosecutors are now demanding that Megan Meier's parents speak at the sentencing hearing, claiming they are Drew's victims. Except... that's simply not true. Drew was convicted merely of having "hacked" into MySpace's computers, because she broke their terms of service by not using her real name (even though she didn't even sign up for the account). The fact that Megan Meier later committed suicide has nothing to do with what Lori Drew was actually convicted of doing. The only reason to allow them to speak at the sentencing is to push for an emotional reason for the sentencing rather than a legal one. The whole thing is a rather disgusting display of a prosecutor abusing the law to punish someone who he believes did wrong, but who did not actually break the law. Whether you believe what Drew did was horrific or not, there's simply no excuse for abusing the law in this manner.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 7th 2009 2:19pm
from the sickening dept
As the sentencing phase of the Lori Drew trial moves forward, prosecutors are asking for three years in jail, well beyond what she should get based on normal sentencing guidelines. So, why? It's not because of anything she actually did, but because of what she represents:
"Defendant has become the public face of cyberbullying. A probationary sentence might embolden others to use the Internet to torment and exploit children."It's hard to have any more direct proof that this case has never been about what Lori Drew actually did and whether it was a crime, but about some grandstanding prosecutors looking to create a PR campaign. Even worse, the prosecutors seem to be focusing on the cyberbullying issue even though that's not what the trial was even about. She was convicted of computer fraud in giving a false name to MySpace, violating its terms of service. The actual "cyberbullying" isn't what she's on trial for at all. It's really rather despicable to see the legal process twisted, in a Salem Witch Trial type of show, in which the sentencing recommendation has no relation to the actual conviction.