Prosecutors Want To Give Lori Drew 3 Years In Jail For Symbolic Reasons

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.


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    Patrick, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    This certainly makes the case ripe for appeal, and hopefully it will be appealed.

     

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      Evil Mike, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      It will be appealed for 15 years, after which time Lori will be found innocent; her reputation in ruins, and her bank account(s) empty.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

        Re: Re:

        It will be appealed for 15 years, after which time Lori will be found innocent; her reputation in ruins, and her bank account(s) empty.

        That's what passes for "justice" in America.

         

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          John Duncan Yoyo, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The point was that what she did was reprehensible and not specifically a crime. She should be a pariah, shunned and possibly stoned. Of course the opportunistic prosecutors deserve the same with possibly smaller but more numerous stones.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 6:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What she did was, at worst, in poor taste and an example of poor judgment, but I think she's been misreprisented as some cold-hearted monster who specifically wanted to harass and embarrass Megan. From everything I've read, Megan was suspected of spreading rumors about lori's daughter, and they created 'Josh' to see if that was true. 'Josh' got close to Megan trying to see if anything about Lori's daughter came up, and when nothing did they decided to end the relationship. How do you end a relationship with a 13-year old girl? Make her hate you. it was a dumb idea all around, it was poorly executed, and the employee who actually sent the "the world would be a better place without you" didn't know Megan had mental/emotional issues.

            And so what happened? They twisted hacking laws to catch Lori on breaking MySpace TOS (which, apparently, the employee clicked through) and now they want to make an example aof her to show cyber-bullies. She wasn't charged with cyber-bullying, but that's what this is about. Which is even more dumb because most cyber-bullies are going to be (1) unreported, and (2) minors, so even when they ARE reported they won't be handled in nearly the same way. The whole thing is a travesty of justice.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 8:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              what employee are you even talking about? no one was employed to do anything.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 9:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Drew was accused of creating the fake MySpace page with her daughter, who was 13 at the time, and an 18-year-old employee named Ashley Grills.

                That employee.

                 

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        Steve, May 10th, 2009 @ 1:18am

        Re: Re:

        And the bitch deserves no less. Fuck Lori Drew right in her stupid ass.

         

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    Tgeigs, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    So they shoehorned a charge, then played off an ignorant jury's emotions, and now have the balls to come out and request a sentence based not on the crime/charge, but based on the MEDIA'S choosing to cover the story? How the fuck unethical is that?

    "Well, Lori, your trial has bumped CourtTV up in the Nielson ratings, and frankly, this is sweeps time, so we're gonna go ahead and give you the chair, mmkay?"

    Anyone remember that game, SmashTV?

     

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    Anonymous Poster, May 7th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    I'm hoping Drew appeals, wins, and sues the holy hell out of every single one of those prosecutors, the District Attorney's office, her city, and her state. This has been just one horrible decision after another, and while I don't condone what Drew did, I also don't condone the prosecutors twisting and bending the law to punish a woman just for being an idiot.

     

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      Not Suprised, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      wow I am not surprised that you DIDN'T read the entire article surrounding the case....

      SOMEBODY IS DEAD BECAUSE OF THIS!

      "Drew was found guilty of violating MySpace’s terms-of-service agreement in helping to create a profile page that was used to harass 13-year-old Megan Meier, who killed herself."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 8:16pm

        Re: Re:

        We all know, this has been an ongoing story for quite some time.

        HOWEVER, that is no excuse to twist the law to the degree that it has been in this cane, and then recommend a sentence for reasons completely different to the charges she was found guilty of.


        The law doesn't disappear when it is inconvenient, regardless of the circumstances.

         

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        Azrael, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:58am

        Re: Re:

        Yes , i know someone died but..

        IT WAS A SUICIDE !!

        If you're a loser who can't handle the world you deserve to die. Pushing you in the right direction (which didn't happened here btw) should be regarded as public service.

         

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          Steve, May 8th, 2009 @ 6:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No one deserves to die simply because they are going through a rough patch in their life. If you were to become depressed should we all say you need to just up and die? Get it over with, because there's nothing to look forward to? What if that happened to all your loved ones who ever felt sad?

          Though the cause of the suicide could be linked to Drew, that was not what she was found guilty of, so it should have no bearing on the charge of creating a false profile on MySpace and violating the TOS. It is a horrible misappropriation of justice to give someone an extraordinary sentence as "warning" to all the others out there. If this were to become the precedent, anyone who created a false profile on MySpace, Facebook, message boards or other similar sites could be put in jail for 3 years, even though their profiles would not lead to someones death.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:22am

        Re: Re:

        She also was NOT the one that sent the message over which the idiot teen killed herself. Sorry, I feel no remorse over that part of it. The parents should have been paying more attention. The signs of depression, and the tendencies towards suicide, are very visible. If she had those sorts of problems, they should have been getting her help.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re:

        "Drew was not directly charged with causing Megan's death."

        http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-myspace7-2009may07%2C0%2C3278963.story?track=rss

        Sec ond-to-last sentence. Odd that they'd put that so far down in the article... You'd think they were trying to down-play the fact.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    If she didn't already have grounds for appeal before, this sure as hell is grounds for appeal.

     

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    Mike, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    Travesty

    The real travesty of justice here is the judge allowing this prosecution to go forward. Any time you have an overzealous prosecutor that reaches clear up to his eyeballs through his balloon knot to get a person into court there is a judge who wants just as badly to be on the cover of Life Magazine. The fact that this kid committed suicide for something so stupid is an indictment of her parents and their parenting skills more so than Drew's troll skills. I personally think we should put the girls parents on trial for criminal negligence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

     

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      Bold Coward (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

      Re: Travesty

      If a kid is so messed up that being taunted online is going to push them into another Columbine type event, or pushes them to suicide, there's more wrong than just one thing.

      I'm amazed the human race has survived this long, what with all these laws designed to protect people. How ever did we manage before they protected us?

      Seriously.. thousands of people "hack" on a daily basis on MySpace, using it for Role Play games. They impersonate celebs, other people, create new people. If you shut down and prosecuted every MySpace troll, they'd have a few hundred users.

      The suicide was tragic, the actions of Lori Drew heinous. But she did nothing illegal. Sad, but true. And the new law proposed to end cyber bullying could be frightening in the scope of abuse based on cases like the one above.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re: Travesty

        Breaking TOS is not hacking. The court thoroughly botched this one.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 9:02am

          Re: Re: Re: Travesty

          I hate that the term "hacking" has even been hijacked to mean what so many people think it means. "Hacking" is such a broad term and not even limited to computers. Its basically messing around with something to make it serve some purpose, and more often than not, involves a lot of creativity.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 9:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Travesty

            True. but the point of the post was that the laws used to 'get' Drew were put in place to punish computer exploitation, commonly called "hacking," and not as a way to give TOS the force of law.

             

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    J Adams, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    who/what/where?

    Bad commentary. You don't even give a basic explanation of the story. I had to Google Lori Drew to be reminded of the crime and the suicide of the girl Megan. You shouldn't assume everyone is going to remember the names of the people associated with trials/crimes. One simple sentence would have assisted in your assumption(s). Massive Fail

     

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      Alan Gerow, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:41pm

      Re: who/what/where?

      Why should he detail the problem every time. You said it yourself, you did a search through Google and got the information you needed. Now I didn't need to sit through ANOTHER recap of the person. That seems win-win to me.

       

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      Marcus Carab (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

      Re: who/what/where?

      Striking a balance with your content to suit the many types of readers is not easy. There are others who would have found another recap of the Lori Drew case tiresome. One of the nice things about the internet is that the balance doesn't have to be perfect (as you pointed out)

      Nonetheless, Mike does a very good job. Hopefully you will become a regular reader and find that out.

       

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      Mike (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

      Re: who/what/where?

      Bad commentary. You don't even give a basic explanation of the story. I had to Google Lori Drew to be reminded of the crime and the suicide of the girl Megan. You shouldn't assume everyone is going to remember the names of the people associated with trials/crimes. One simple sentence would have assisted in your assumption(s). Massive Fail

      I had recapped the case in detail just yesterday. If I did it every time most people would get annoyed. Already people yell at us for recapping things too much.

      I try to strike the right balance. I'm sorry you feel that it wasn't enough, but I don't believe it's a "massive fail."

       

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      Almost Anonymous, May 8th, 2009 @ 10:19am

      Re: who/what/where?

      Gee, you had to Google something? How horrible for you. However, if you take a look at TechDirt's archives (and guess what, you're going to have to find them yourself) you'll see that this story has actually been followed rather closely as it has evolved.

      On the other hand, I do agree that -someone- failed, but in this case it wasn't Mike.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:20pm

    wasn't capone jailed for 11 years for tax evasion? i don't see what's wrong with getting people for whatever they can in situations that merit it.

     

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      jack, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:19pm

      Re:

      you hit the nail right on the head. that bitch did something extremely horrible. she is directly reliable for that girl's death. get her on what you can.

       

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        CrushU, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re:

        As far as I'm aware, here is the timeline:

        1. Megan decides Lori's daughter is no longer her friend.
        2. Lori, her daughter, and a (co-worker? employee?) of Lori's make a fake account and befriend Megan.
        3. Lori ends the fake friendship and account.
        4. Megan kills herself.

        How is 4. not an overreaction? How many people in the Country suffer under physical bullying which leaves *injuries* and don't kill themselves? There seems to be alot of assumption that Lori was purposefully trying to kill Megan somehow, which I find difficult to believe.

        2. was the illegal act, but only under MySpace ToS, which is not a criminal issue.

        Then again, I've not really been paying attention to this, as I'm mature enough to understand that sticks and stones can break my bones, but words and names can never hurt me. Maybe I missed something?

         

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      AZ, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

      Don't tread on me...

      Al Capone broke an existing law, "In 1931 Capone was indicted for income tax evasion and various violations of the Volstead Act." -Wikipedia

      Lori Drew was convicted of 3 counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, in violation of 18 U.SC. 1030(a) (2) (C). There is NOTHING stating she caused ANYONE'S death in those statues. The law is very clear.

      The country watched as an overzealous prosecutor attacked the 3 lacrosse players from Duke and the same overreaching ambition is happening here. This needs to be stopped before we are all in jeopardy of having our rights trampled on by our government.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      Al Capone: notorious mob boss, repeatedly evaded conviction for serious crimes.
      Lori Drew: kind of a bitch, mean to teenaged girls.

      Yeah, I think that's a fair comparrison to make.

       

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    Cheese McBeese, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Are you guys nuts? This woman is the lowest form of scum and I wish it were possible to send her away for at least 10 years. This is an online predator who stalked a young girl and then mentally abused her to the point that the young girl committed suicide. A life has been lost and it is not the result of an accident, it is the result of the emotional attack by a hateful adult on a child who clearly had mental problems and was in a fragile state of mind.

    The laws are not keeping up with new scenarios like this one and because of that an evil woman who caused the death of a child and should be severely punished may not be. Mike, you are normally a champion for fixing things that are broken, like the business models for digital music and video. I appeal to you to reconsider your position on this one and recognize that fixing what is broken here is a lot more important than anything to do with the RIAA.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:37pm

      Re:

      Lori did not cause Megan's death. Megan committed suicide. If anyone is to blame, it is the parents who did not properly supervise Megan's online actions. If Megan was so very very fragile, then letting her go alone on social websites should have been a huge concern for her caretakers.

       

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        random stranger, May 18th, 2009 @ 8:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Anonymous Coward: the parents were monitoring her internet use and allowing her to speak to what everybody assumed was a 16 year old boy- the boy, was in fact, this neighbor woman using a fake profile to pick on a teenage girl. This woman is a horrible person. Stoning, I think might have been the ideal response.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

      Re:

      I disagree with you fully, punishing people for crimes they did not commit, regardless of how awful they are, is a horribly slippery slope. Depending on the circumstances, there are probably civil charges that can be brought against her, but one should NOT twist the law to try and punish someone, regardless of the reasons.

       

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      BTR1701, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      > This woman is the lowest form of scum and
      > I wish it were possible to send her away for
      > at least 10 years.

      And you're the 21st century equivalent of a villager waving his torch or pitchfork and demanding vigilante justice.

      Either we're a nation of laws or we're not. If we are, we don't get to put people in prison for things that aren't crimes, no matter how much we dislike them.

       

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      Ruby Farias, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

      Re: 3 yrs to 13

      I agree with Cheese McBeese. What this woman did was reprehensible. She was fully aware of her actions every step of the way. She knew the girl had problems and she purposefully taunted her -that is a very cruel, malicious, and deliberate act. Just because there is no previous case to use as a benchmark against this one this crime must be taken seriously to prevent repeatable behaviors such as this in the future. 3 years is nothing for the life she helped destroy.

       

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    overzealous prosecutors, May 7th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    computer hacking

    What is the difference between her and the cops that lie to get onto yahoo, myspace, aol posing as lost teenagers in adult rooms? Cops say they are over 18 create a fake person and start chatting. The feds were so busy thinking up what to charge this woman with that they did not think about the precedent they just set. Cops are guilty of computer hacking too. There is no special provision in these contracts that cops can do it but regular people cannot. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future. There needs to be an end to the witch hunts attorney generals across the country are conducting. This is fake crime people look at the statistics.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:18am

      Re: computer hacking

      1. Breaking TOS is not hacking.
      2. Cops never commit crimes. By definition.

       

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      wonder, May 19th, 2009 @ 9:55pm

      Re: computer hacking

      you have got to be kidding me. you actually see no difference?

      The police do that under special permission for the intent of tracking down pedofiles and criminals and not to harass innocent people. And yes, there are special provisions and arrangements made for police.

       

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    Marcus Carab (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

    It's hard to approach this situation in a way that keeps the two halves of the issue separate. I honestly am not entirely sure how I feel about this yet, and I am trying to frame the whole thing in my mind as we speak. I want to share the way in which I am doing that:

    Basically, I can acknowledge the stance that the punishment should suit the crime no matter how it is achieved, but only if it is a broad philosophical stance. I'm not sure that I am on board with that philosophy, but if it is what you believe (as some of you seem to) I'd be interested to hear it defended in that broader sense, beyond the bounds of this case.

    But more importantly, whether you believe it is always or never or sometimes appropriate (the Al Capone example gave me pause, to be sure), the prosecutor isn't even talking about her crimes. He did not request this unprecedented sentence on the grounds of her moral depravity or the depths of her misdoings, but rather on the grounds that she is "the public face of cyberbullying", with mind given to the effect her sentence will have on society... this would maybe be less troubling if cyberbullying WERE her crime, but it isn't. Sentencing by public perception? I have a hard time with that.

     

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    The Cenobyte, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

    umm Justice?

    Justice is not the law and I think it's important to remember that. Shock and outrage by the general public to a behavior that is unethical does not preclude the court from ruling in either direction. In a case where a grown woman bullied a child even if it didn't result in a Childs death given anything but a harsh punishment would be the travesty of justice everyone is looking for.

    The law is being twisted here and that is a shame when there are laws that would have worked just as well (child endangerment). I worry about what a ruling like this means for the future, but let’s not confuse twisting the law with an injustice.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:08pm

      Re: umm Justice?

      Saying that jerks should be punished regardless of what the law says is very dangerous mentality, and this is not a mentality I would like to see in place. I for one would like to see punishment always based upon the law that one breaks, never just what the public wants.

       

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        The Cenobyte, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re: umm Justice?

        Oh yes sir I agree completely. But Justice and the law are not the same thing. In this care as much as it pains me to see the law twisted, I think Justice is being served.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

      Re: umm Justice?

      I worry about what a ruling like this means for the future, but let’s not confuse twisting the law with an injustice.

      Twisting the law is an injustice.

       

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        The Cenobyte, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

        Re: Re: umm Justice?

        I think you need to look up what the word Justice means. The law doesn't come into it until to get into tertiary definitions. Justice is about being fair not about following the law. The law is often not just and it seems silly to assume that because a law is not being followed that justice is not be served. So again my point is that Justice is likely being served even if the law is being twisted and distorted. I again am fearful of what that means to justice in the future but today it’s being served.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: umm Justice?

          I think you need to look up what the word Justice means.

          Ditto.

          Justice is about being fair not about following the law.

          Twisting the law is not fair and therefore not just. Neither is following an unjust law, but that is not what we're talking about here.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:26am

          Re: Re: Re: umm Justice?

          The ends do not justify the means. even if you believe Drew deserves what she's getting, that doesn't change the fact that twisting laws to get their is an injustice.

           

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    ConceptJunkie (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Worse Congress feels the need to Do Something(tm)

    Worse, those human stains in Congress are rushing through new legislation that is probably vaguely worded and unconstitutional and definitely chilling of free speech because they have this uncontrollable urge to give the appearance of Doing Something, even though what they usually do is make the problem worse.

    No new laws are needed. This woman is already convicted, and yet those useless gasbags on Capitol Hill have to waste more paper making something illegal, illegal.

     

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    Dave Reed, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    How Naive

    This is post-20th century america. We no longer concern ourselves with such petty issues as 'the law'. You simply let the rich and powerful (after all if they weren't smarter than you and me, they wouldn't be rich and powerful, right?) do things as they like.
    To make the history books and newspapers look better, we'll keep the two-ring circus called congress in session and occasionally throw a big party called an election.
    Really, isn't is simpler to just let the king...er..CEO...er PRESIDENT do what he wants?

    /end sarcasm

     

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    reaperman0, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    This entire thing is stupid and a complete waste of time and my tax dollars. I was harassed and bullied throughout my entire childhood by the asshats at my school and hated going to school each day. But here I am, fully alive and doing just fine, thank-you-very-much.

    The deceased girl's parents dropped the ball for not paying very much attention to their child and knowing that she may be suicidal. The bullying woman sucks for being a bully and quite possibly taking this whole situation too far.

    But the fact remain that she did not force this girl to kill herself. I don't care how 'emotionally unstable' the girl was, nobody killed her except herself. Don't misunderstand me: Suicide is tragic, and this is whole event is sad, but nobody committed any actual crimes here.

    Bullying is not a crime. Its rude, annoying, and mean, but not a crime. Creating fake accounts on MySpace and other social networking sites is also not a crime, other than possibly a breach of the TOS. Breaching the TOS is not a criminal matter. Its stupid and a waste of time, but again, not a crime in the criminal sense.

    Why is this so complicated for people to understand?

    Putting this woman (who I agree is a total douchbag) into jail as an example may be 'satisfying' to many people, but the fact remains that if we start jailing people because we don't 'like' them then we are on a slippery slope all the way to the bottom.

    And what awaits us there is nothing but anarchy and chaos.

     

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      Vic, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

      Re:

      Now, that's the best comment. 100% agree with reaperman0!

       

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      Vix, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      There are clear facts to be faced here - this women did break the T&Cs deliberately and with malicious intent

      She indulged in child abuse, type = Psychological

      She will not be punished for the death of this girl, so it is irrelevant what people think of suicide, or which 'side' they come down on regarding blame

      Lori Drew faces criminal proceedings for her ACTIONS which were intentional, not accidental - child abusers deserve much more punishment - she is getting off lightly, even if she gets the maximum sentence

      If it had been a man encouraging a child into sexual acts, no-one would see it as a 'grey area' - she abused a site to abuse a child - simple

       

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    PRMan, May 7th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Those prosecutors are such bullies.

     

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    Jack Sombra, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    Cheese McBeese, while i can agree with you that Lori is the scum of the earth here is the problem, when you take out all the emotional context, as you always should with law, Lori did nothing more than type online mean and nasty things to an unstable child

    Now how does one make a law against something like that? a law that will not be misused by overzealous prosecutors/cops shortly after (see recent sexting fiasco's for example)

    You cannot really, though politicos will try just to be seen to be doing something

    Other option of twisting existing laws to fit (which they are doing with Lori's case) has same problem, because once a law has become twisted it becomes very hard to untwist it as it sets a precedent other cops/prosecutors can and will use

     

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    Jack Sombra, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    "How is 4. not an overreaction? How many people in the Country suffer under physical bullying which leaves *injuries* and don't kill themselves? There seems to be alot of assumption that Lori was purposefully trying to kill Megan somehow, which I find difficult to believe."
    No one denys it was a overreaction by Megan but one thing you seem to be missing is Megan was known to have pretty serious emotional problems and one of the people who knew was Lori herself

    Adults picking on a kid = Very bad
    Adults picking on a kids with known emotional problems for childish and petty reasons and that leads to the kid killing themself = Get out tar, feathers and stones

     

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      CrushU, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

      Re:

      Nice to know I was missing something...

      Wait, what was I missing?

      'Known emotional problems'... You mean puberty? If you meant something more serious, why was she not in a facility, or more carefully monitored by her parents? I'll make that rhetorical: Because it wasn't a serious emotional problem. It's like seeking 'emotional damages'.

      I'm not trying to be callous or anything, but still. I'm having a hard time seeing a causation relationship here. Why not blame the fact that her favorite shirt wasn't clean, or maybe it was raining that day? After all, she had Emotional Problems.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 6:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. If Megan was so very unstable that even some bullying and mean words would give her reason to commit suicide, and her parents KNEW this, why was she not more carefully monitored? Why was she even allowed on the internet if she was so emotionally defective?

        If even her parents didn't think she'd commit suicide from bullying (by the fact that they did not take the proper measures to protect her) how in the world was Lori to know that!?

         

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          Angular, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:08pm

          There are things you just don't play with.

          No one KNEW the kid would commit suicide, no one ever KNOWS what is going to happen to an unstable person, which is why we put a line between CHILD and ADULT, between SOCIALLY FUNCTIONAL and MENTALLY ILL. An adult should know better than playing with a child's mind, because you don't know what will happen. Would anyone put a baby to crawl on the edge of a very high bridge, pretending that "hey, who knew he'd crawl too far and fall and die?" Endangering or tormenting someone and saying "nah, i didn't know they'd suffer SO MUCH, c'mon it was a JOKE, ok?" just isn't right, whether there is a law for it or not.

          I understand the fear of those who think that accusing Lori Drew of hacking might set an unwanted precedent, or that accusing her on the count that "she is the public face of cyberbullying" might have unwanted consequences, but she should be found guilty in SOME damn way. From what I've read, there are laws in your country regarding child abuse and child endangerment, laws that punish people for drinking while driving with a small child in the car (an example). Don't you think that what Lori Drew did, even if it's not contained in any law, should also be punished? She had the intention to do harm, and guess what, she did, beyond her expectations. That's what happens when you intend to do harm that is not physical, you can succeed better than you had imagined, and while such things are difficult to pinpoint and put a name/tag on, they shouldn't be left as such just because of that. After all, why would we all continue to obey the authorities, if they cannot protect us from harm done by those who find creative ways of not obeying and harming others? If one can get away, then another can get away too and guess what, that's also a road to perdition.

          We are at a point where society has made us so obedient, that just beating someone when he did you wrong is out of our minds (most of us). If it is only the state that can protect me when someone harms me, then they better do it well, or I and many more might start refusing their protection, gradually or suddenly.

          There was this case in Austria, of a Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter in a cellar for 20 years, having sex with her etc. Of course there is no law for exactly the horrible fact that he did, they sentenced him for imprisoning another person. The emotional harm he did to that woman cannot be quantified, just as we can not quantify the harm Lori Drew did to that little girl, but there is something in their deeds that can be quantified.

           

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            Cheese McBeese, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:43pm

            Re: There are things you just don't play with.

            @Angular - thank you for making my point far more eloquently than I have been able to.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:59pm

            Re: There are things you just don't play with.

            Don't you think that what Lori Drew did, even if it's not contained in any law, should also be punished?

            Not by the law, no.

            There was this case in Austria, of a Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter in a cellar for 20 years, having sex with her etc. Of course there is no law for exactly the horrible fact that he did,...

            That's not true at all. There are multiple laws that apply to his crimes. Rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, incest, child neglect, and others. So to say that there are none shows either gross ignorance or deceitfulness or both.

             

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            SomeGuy, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:16pm

            Re: There are things you just don't play with.

            she should be found guilty in SOME damn way.

            Why? If she broke no laws, why should the law punish her? there's no law against saying "the world would be a better place without you," and frankly I hope there never is.

            there are laws in your country regarding child abuse and child endangerment

            If that's what she was charged, convicted, and sentenced for, I'd be completely OK with it. For whatever reason, they couldn't find a way of making such charges stick. So they twisted other laws around to get the vengeance they wanted. That's dispicable, at least at the same lever as anything Drew did, and I won't stand for it.

            Don't you think that what Lori Drew did, even if it's not contained in any law, should also be punished?

            That's an interesting question, and I'd actually think I'd say "yes." But not by the legal system. Her reputation is ruined and she has to live with knowing what she did (and if you're a religious sort, she has her final judgment coming, too). But the legal system was made to hold people accountable to the law, and if she broke no law there should be no mechanism to punish her.

            If one can get away, then another can get away too and guess what, that's also a road to perdition.

            This is only so if you don't believe in making new laws. Drew broke no current laws, but that's different than saying we shouldn't make new laws so that this can't ever happen again. (I don't think we should, for many reasons, but that's not the question at hand.)

            I and many more might start refusing their protection, gradually or suddenly.

            You probably should. I don't trust The State to protect me because I feel The State is one of the greatest threats to my wellbeing and happiness.

            There was this case in Austria, of a Josef Fritzl...

            So completely different from the Drew case I can't even begin to express it all but, as noted by the AC above, there are plenty of laws that Fritzl did break. All they could get Drew on was "hacking" and then only by making the claim that breaking TOS is the same as network exploitation.

            we can not quantify the harm Lori Drew did to that little girl

            And yet you're sure it's greater than 0. If you can't prove it, I don't want to hear it.

             

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      Vix, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      She is not being done for murder though is she? She is facing charges of abusing a site, and we all know she did that to abuse a child

      Is she being done for murder - No
      Is she being done for child abuse - No
      Is she being done for bullying - No
      Is she being done for abusing a site, deliberately and with intent? YES

      That is all - she deserves to be done for all of those crimes above IMO, but that she abused the site is good enough - it needs to be done, so that she pays for her actions which were the actions of an adult, and she sought out anonymity which she had to lie to achieve

      That is all she is being done for, and she does deserve whatever she gets - I hope it is imprisonment

       

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    Him ThatIs, May 7th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    Every suicidal's dream come true

    Now I have a REASON to commit suicide. I can get an enemy ruined by the justice system. They'll get indicted, I'll get immortalize, loved and honored. Only in America.

    On the downside there is no way I can convince a troubled teen not to do it, that it will get better. Not when they have a winning ticket of the LAST word. Only in America

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:39pm

      Re: Every suicidal's dream come true

      "Now I have a REASON to commit suicide."

      I see you shooting off your mouth, let's see you back it up with action now.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2009 @ 1:33am

        Re: Re: Every suicidal's dream come true

        Oops, he just killed himself. The police will be there shortly to arrest you for your mean, insensitive comments that killed the poor guy.

         

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    random, May 7th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    Metaphor....

    So if an old man is walking down the street and an another walks up up to him and says F*** You which then causes the old man to have a heart attack and die would you consider that murder?
    When is twisting laws ok? Is it ok because of public perception? If the old man was a small child would that mean harsher sentence due to increased public perception.
    I don't know the laws well and this is a bad metaphor but the point is it's insane to let anything effect the punishment of a person other than the actual crime or that persons criminal history.
    Do you guys agree?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

      Re: Metaphor....

      So if an old man is walking down the street and an another walks up up to him and says F*** You which then causes the old man to have a heart attack and die would you consider that murder?

      That reminds me of the case of the prison guard who was beating a prisoner and got so worked up doing it that he suffered a heart attack and died. They charged the prisoner with the guard's death.

      I suppose there are some people posting comments in this forum that would see that as appropriate. I guess I'll just have to disagree.

       

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      Vix, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 8:23am

      Re: Metaphor....

      Here in the UK people have been proecuted for causing death to others, via psychological abuse and stress - there was a case of a break in which resulted in the death of an elderly man, and the robbers were done for manslaughter!! I think this is entirely the right approach - don't commit crimes if you cannot do the time

      Lori is a criminal in that she willfully used fraudulent means to access someone - she hid and thought she would not be found - she hid because she knew what she was doing was deplorable - we create laws to protect the innocent, punish the guilty and provide a deterent to people who want to commit deplorable acts

      She did break the law and when it comes to reactions outside of the law, maybe someone will do something unlawful to her, something more harmful than just using words - she would then be crying out to be visible and helped

      She was a coward, a deciever, a bully, a child abuser, as stalker, a fraud and a downright scumbag - sadly there are not laws to punish her for all that - the one for fraud will have to suit for now - within the law that is - it remains to be seen what sort of punishment people acting outside the law do

       

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    Cheese McBeese, May 7th, 2009 @ 9:40pm

    Let me clarify my earlier post. I am NOT for twisting the law to satisfy my desire for justice. I do NOT trust our elected officials to manage the twisting of our laws - they would pervert them. I am for championing change of the laws so that sick predators like Lori Drew who prey on kids that they know are unstable can be put away for a long time.

    I'm disturbed by the callous attitude of so many on here - including Mike - who are overlooking the death of a troubled child and are aligning behind the adult who willfully contributed to that death. I am normally a callous bastard but when it comes to child abuse, all bets are off.

    To all of you who are so willing to shrug it off and just say "where were Megan's parents", what do you know about her life? Maybe she was being abused by her parents and was looking for a friend only to be further abused. But it doesn't really matter because there is NO circumstance in my books that makes it ok for a predator to stalk and emotionally abuse a troubled child.

    Mike - shame on you for supporting Lori Drew's case instead of pushing for a shale-up of the online predator laws.

     

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      Mike (profile), May 7th, 2009 @ 10:41pm

      Re:

      I'm disturbed by the callous attitude of so many on here - including Mike - who are overlooking the death of a troubled child and are aligning behind the adult who willfully contributed to that death. I am normally a callous bastard but when it comes to child abuse, all bets are off.

      Oh please. I'm not being callous at all. I talked about how sad it is that this girl died, but it's ridiculous to claim that Lori "willfully contributed to that death." There's been no evidence she was trying to drive the girl to suicide. It sets an INCREDIBLY dangerous precedent to charge Lori for *Megan's* actions. Yes, it's tragic. Yes, Drew's actions are despicable. But they shouldn't be illegal.

      To all of you who are so willing to shrug it off and just say "where were Megan's parents", what do you know about her life? Maybe she was being abused by her parents and was looking for a friend only to be further abused.

      So... uh... by your own reasoning, shouldn't her parents then be tarred, feathered and in jail?

      Mike - shame on you for supporting Lori Drew's case instead of pushing for a shale-up of the online predator laws.

      No, shame on you for trampling the rule of law in favor of a completely emotional response that blames a woman for the actions of someone else. That's shameful.

       

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        Vix, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re:

        No, shame on you for trampling the rule of law in favor of a completely emotional response that blames a woman for the actions of someone else. That's shameful

        FACT - she is being blamed for her own actions - fraudulent use of myspace

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2009 @ 10:06pm

    Not illegal but still wrong

    I really agree with this case. Just because something is not technically illegal not mean that it isn't still wrong. Take for instance mixed race couples. Now there may be no laws explicitly against that kind of stuff these days, but that doesn't mean that it isn't still wrong and shouldn't still be punished. Same thing with all that queer stuff. But that's what happens when you follow "the law" rather than righteousness.

     

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    Cheese McBeese, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:26am

    Mike, this callous bastard is disappointed by your callous response. You are arguing for the sake of debate, not for what is right, IMHO. To me, that undermines what I thought was your philosophy in your campaign against old media thinking.

    Lori was a predator. You can't debate that. She is an adult and she disguised her identity and stalked a child with malicious intent. That by itself should warrant a more serious penalty than she will get because our online stalking laws are just as inadequate as our online content laws.

    Lori's intent may not have been to drive Megan to suicide, but that is the result of her willful actions and she should be accountable for it. She specifically targeted this troubled girl for emotional abuse.

    I don't know if Megan's parents should be in jail. Maybe, maybe not. My point was that the people who are cutting Lori slack on the basis of parental responsibility should make sure they understand Megan's circumstances first.

    I was VERY clear that I am NOT in favor of trampling the rule of law in favor of an emotional response. I am for changing the laws so predators like Lori Drew can't get away without just punishment. You and many others here are taking the position that this is a sad case but Lori's rights are being violated. Give me a break. Lori is a predator. Her target is dead because of her actions. You tell us what you think is fair.

    How do you remain credible now defending those who take a stand against something as comparatively trivial as copyright law? Aren't you being emotional? By your own reasoning in this thread, the law is the law and therefore not prosecuting everyone for file sharing would set an INCREDIBLY dangerous precent.

    I am out of here Mike. I thank you for the opinions and debate thus far, but if you can't separate law from principle in a case like this, there is no way I can respect what you have to say in regards to new media or anything else.

     

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      Mike (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 1:30am

      Re:

      Mike, this callous bastard is disappointed by your callous response. You are arguing for the sake of debate, not for what is right, IMHO. To me, that undermines what I thought was your philosophy in your campaign against old media thinking.

      No, I am absolutely 100% arguing for what is right. Putting this woman in jail is absolutely 100% wrong. She did not break the law. You're rationalizing the fact that you want to punish this woman into making you think it's okay to totally abuse the system to get her in jail. That sickens me.

      Lori was a predator. You can't debate that.

      She was not a predator. You absolutely can debate it. All of the evidence suggests she was *dumb* but not a predator. She didn't "stalk." She tried to use MySpace to find out what Megan was saying about her daughter. It got out of hand, but it wasn't designed to harm the girl. That's pure conjecture. Yes, what she did was misguided. But it was not predatory behavior -- at least not from *any* of the evidence presented.

      You're reading too much into this because of MEGAN's actions, not Lori's.

      Lori's intent may not have been to drive Megan to suicide, but that is the result of her willful actions and she should be accountable for it. She specifically targeted this troubled girl for emotional abuse.

      Again, no evidence of that. All the evidence I saw said she just wanted to know what Megan was saying. No one intended to "willfully" harm the girl. The final mistake (not by Lori, btw, but by the employee) was an attempt to end the whole thing. The way that was done was incredibly dumb, but it wasn't done with malicious intent. The intent was to get Megan to not want to contact "Josh" again.

      I was VERY clear that I am NOT in favor of trampling the rule of law in favor of an emotional response. I am for changing the laws so predators like Lori Drew can't get away without just punishment. You and many others here are taking the position that this is a sad case but Lori's rights are being violated. Give me a break. Lori is a predator. Her target is dead because of her actions. You tell us what you think is fair.

      You do seem to be making an emotional response, so I disagree. And I don't see how you change the laws. Look, people are jerks or are dumb. You can't outlaw it. Especially not based on how people react to the dumb behavior.

      This is a tragic situation all around. What Lori did was dumb. What her employee did was even dumber. But Megan killed herself for a variety of reasons having to do with her own demons. Pinning it on Lori who was misguided, but mostly concerned for the welfare of her own daughter is ridiculous.

      How do you remain credible now defending those who take a stand against something as comparatively trivial as copyright law? Aren't you being emotional? By your own reasoning in this thread, the law is the law and therefore not prosecuting everyone for file sharing would set an INCREDIBLY dangerous precent.

      Um. I'm not going to go through a logic 101 course for you, but if you thought a little bit about what you just said you'd realize how incredibly ridiculous that sounds.

      Saying that someone shouldn't have the law twisted to put them in jail doesn't mean that every law must be enforced 100%. I mean... come on. Get real.

      I am out of here Mike. I thank you for the opinions and debate thus far, but if you can't separate law from principle in a case like this, there is no way I can respect what you have to say in regards to new media or anything else.

      I am not separating law from principle. I'm doing the opposite. This is about both principle and law. Going after Lori Drew because of the end results of her misguided plan is really troubling. You're getting into thought police territory.

      I am out of here Mike. I thank you for the opinions and debate thus far, but if you can't separate law from principle in a case like this, there is no way I can respect what you have to say in regards to new media or anything else.

      If you really are so emotional over this that you cannot understand my position, then it probably is best for you to leave. Hopefully, one day, once you calm down and look at the situation, you'll realize that my position makes a lot more sense than you seem to believe.

       

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      Phillip, May 8th, 2009 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      @Cheese McBeese
      Sorry, but you are the one that is wrong here.

      I have not seen any evidence presented that shows she wanted to harm the girl let alone kill her.

      There is no law against being a jerk online or in real life. People are every day and most people don't commit suicide nor even consider it. Look at any thread on almost any message board/forum and you'll have trolls.

      You can not retroactively change a law because you've now figured out you don't like what they did. What if they did this when they outlawed Alcohol? Everyone who ever bought a bottle of booze should now be thrown in Jail? What about when they made it legal again? Do you release everyone that was committing a crime while it was illegal?

      If Megan was really that unstable she should have been seeing a psychiatrist and on medication. She also should have probably been in a facility for a while first.

      I have a family member that was suicidal and this is exactly what happened to them. First all the knives, drugs and everything else was locked away in the house. They were evaluated and placed in a facility that keeps them under 24-hour supervision and starts treating them with a psychiatrist and medication. Then they are released from the facility when they are no longer a danger to themselves and they continue treatment with a psychiatrist. Today said person is living a perfectly normal happy life, with a lot of the people at the time having no idea what was going on or ever happened. So how could you blame an outsider that probably never new or even guessed the extent of the problem if something had happened to them as a result. Yes it would've sucked and they would've probably felt really bad about it for a very long time, but punishing them for my family members actions would've maybe placated the need for someone to pay but it would not have been right.

      What if instead of using myspace Lori used a nephew or another male friend and had them find out the stuff in person? Then Megan still killed herself because someone said a mean thing to her? People, esp. high school/middle school kids say mean things to each other every single day.

       

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      Phillip Vector, May 9th, 2009 @ 7:10am

      Re:

      Just to note.. By putting in the name of Cheese McBeese, unless that is your real name, you are hacking and should be sent to jail for the same amount of time Lori is being sent up for.

      That is how dangerous this case is.

       

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    Cheese McBeese, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:36am

    One more question Mike...

    You write: "Yes, Drew's actions are despicable. But they shouldn't be illegal."

    Why shouldn't these actions be illegal, in your opinion? An adult predator stalks a child. I don't understand your position. Not at all.

     

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      Killer_Tofu (profile), May 8th, 2009 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      @Cheese
      If there was any evidence whatsoever that she was indeed a predator, the prosecutors would have charged her with that.
      But, guess what? She was not a predator and they had no evidence. There ARE laws against being a predator. If she was then they would have charged her with them, not the anti-hacking laws that they charged her with.

      Try to think it through a little bit here.
      It would greatly help your side if you did because right now your argument seems easily shot down as 100% emotion and no rationale to it at all.

      I will say it one more time. If she was a predator, they would have charged her with that, because there are laws against that, but they didn't because she isn't. Ok?

       

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    Tgeigs, May 8th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Here's the real question: why doesn't a license to practice law come with a TOS? First on the list: "Thou shalt not completely make up a new definition for the law just because someone is reewy, reewy bad girl", closely followed by "Thou shalt not request retarded long sentences for said trumped up charge just because the media decided to cover the story".

    Follow the logic here:

    1. Lori is charged w/hacking
    2. Media jumps on story, covering it closely
    3. Lori is convicted
    4. Prosecutor points to Jimmy Olsen w/his camera working for the Daily Planet and says, "look, now she's the face of interweb bullying. We must smite her!"

    Why the fuck does Jimmy Olsen have ANYTHING to do w/justice, the law, or the sentencing process. Why is how long Lori is doomed to spend in prison being decided by the program coordinator for CNN?

     

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    Chris Hansen, May 8th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Selective Outrage

    How about the Texas DA who committed suicide after Dateline NBC's To Catch A Predator thugs created a fake online profile posing as an underage boy (computer hacking!)? No outrage about that? Oh, that's right, people we don't like deserve to die and it doesn't matter how.

     

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    toyotabedzrock, May 9th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Why would they reference exploiting children, its like they are trying to make her seem as if she molested the girl?

     

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    She Deserves it, May 9th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Drew deserves to go to jail. What she did was inexcusable. I live very close to where this happened and know all about this case. She is getting off easy with just 3 years. Harassing and tormenting minors on the internet is a crime, period. She knew this girl and knew she had a history of low self esteem and clinical depression. She knew exactly what she was doing and should be made an example to help prevent further situations like this. Before commenting people really need to know what they are talking about. If it was your daughter who had committed suicide I'm sure you wouldn't be so bold in supporting this criminal. And to blame her parents??? Sheesh, some self centered idiots out there.

     

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    Fungo Knubb, May 9th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    RE: by Cheese McBeese

    You've missed the point completely. She wasn't tried for the girl committing suicide, she was tried for using a false name on her MySpace application - nothing more. Therefore, the sentence should fit the crime. Period. If it doesn't, then she should appeal, and sue the hell outta everyone connected with the "false sentencing".

    This whole thing is truly American justice on a really good day. The judicial system is just as corrupt as the political system, and the only way to fix it, I suspect, is to burn it to the ground, and start all over brick by brick from the ground up. What a witch hunt!!!

     

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    Natalie, May 12th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    The conspiracy types need to calm down. There isn't going to be any mass round-up of people with fake internet IDs if this horrible old witch does some jail time.

    If you throw a TV out the window and it smashes on the sidewalk, nothing happens to you. If you throw a TV out the window and it hits a child and kills her, you go to jail. Same stupid act, different consequences, different legal penalty. Happens all the time in morality and the law.

    And, toyotabedzrock, why are they making her seem as if she molested the girl? She willfully, gleefully, manipulated 13-year-old Megan Meier's sexual feelings for six weeks. How is that not psychological molestation? Try to picture yourself doing that to the 13-year-old daughter of one of your friends. You can't even imagine it, it's so heinous. Lori had no problem with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    The woman pushed that girl to suicide and deserves 3 years. While she probably should have been more closely watched, how many parents know their child inside and out? Often people with depression can hide their symptoms, but that doesn't mean anything for Lori. Natalie has it completely right. This woman screwed up horribly and deserves to be punished.

     

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    AGAINST BULLYING, May 18th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    LORI DREW

    Jail Her. She is Supposed to set The GOOD EXAMPLES. She is Guilty

     

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    ME, May 18th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    morality and the law

    I agree with the sentiment that she should not be found guilty. The idea of her appealing forever and having her reputation and bank account ruined seems to fit the crime pretty well though.

     

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    dale surrett, May 18th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    lori drew case

    If it had been up to me she would have got the death penality.

     

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    hoo hoo, May 18th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    USA

    good thing we live in the USA then huh Dale? Remember, Bush is out of office. Get back to NASCAR...

     

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    Suz, May 18th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Lori Drew

    Lori Drew is a horrible nasty, sadistic skank, and I hope she not only goes to prison, but also ROTS there... would be fun to see someone bully HER..she deserves whatever comes her way, as long as it is painful and causes her some of the grief she caused that poor girl (who Lori Drew killed with hatefulness and bullying). KARMA, baby!!!!!!!

     

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    Harper, May 18th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Consider this

    If you're still unclear about how horrible a thing Drew did, consider this, the reason why she is not up on worse charges is because it happened on cyber space. If legal and moral seems to be muddied by the internet-- let's take the internet out of the equation.
    If Mrs. Drew were able to in real time, live and in person, dress up like a 16 year-old and pretend to be the girl's boyfriend and then use information she had as a former friend of the family combined with the awesome power she had over this girl via being the first and only boy to befriend her to push this girl to kill herself -- what would the law say about that?

     

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      super dupe, May 19th, 2009 @ 7:05am

      Re: Consider this

      How can you "take the internet out of the equation" when she was convicted of computer fraud?

      What she did was horrible, and she should get punished for it. Very few are debating that. The point - you nincompoop- is that the horror of it isn't because of the computer fraud. The punishment should fit the crime.

       

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    Allison, Dec 10th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Is this a joke!?

    I am sorry. This woman deserves a lot worse. She is a huge bully, and a reason why kids these days think its ok to bully. She is the adult, she should know better. What a fucking whack job thinking she can pick on kids. She is legit insane and deserves to die. If I was the girls mother I would be in jail for assaulting this woman. She is a piece of shit.

     

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