Lori Drew Not Guilty Of Felonies, But Guilty Of Misdemeanors

from the twisty-laws dept

In the landmark cyberbullying case, Lori Drew was found not guilty of three felonies, but guilty of three misdemeanors. The jury is deadlocked on the fourth count of felony conspiracy. The three counts of "accessing a computer without authorization" relate to the creation of a fictitious account on MySpace that was used to engage in an online relationship with Megan Meier. This verdict is not surprising considering the emotionally charged nature of this case. Prosecutors were desperate to convict Lori Drew of something, despite the fact that she may not have technically done anything illegal. If what Lori Drew did was truly criminal, then laws need to be passed to make it that way. To twist around computer fraud laws to simply get a conviction not only sets a dangerous precedent, but it is not the appropriate way to serve justice.

Filed Under: computer fraud, lori drew, megan meier
Companies: myspace

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  1. identicon
    Tonal Crow, 28 Nov 2008 @ 6:51pm

    Re. Saberman: The act in your circus hypothetical isn't even a tort, let alone a (common-law) crime, since there's no element of intent or even reasonable foreseeability. The act was wrongful as to the circus, and was also possibly a criminal theft of services, but the death was a completely unforeseeable consequence. The act in your dating hypothetical is not unlike alienation of affection, a cause of action that I believe every state has abolished. That the hypothetical date managed to kill herself over it was completely unintended (and thus not a common-law crime), and not reasonably foreseeable and involved intervening voluntary acts (and thus not a common-law tort).

    Law is a very powerful thing, and is easily (and commonly) abused. When we hear something ugly, and automatically respond, "There ought'a be a law!", we should take a deep breath, step back, and think deeply about unintended consequences. And we should remember that our worst personal enemies could well become prosecutors. Finally, we might also consider why common law distinguishes between torts and crimes.

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