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Megan Meier's neighbor Ms. Drew was found guilty of misdemeanor charges surrounding her allegedly spurring Meier to kill herself, but found not guilty of three more serious felony charges.  (Source: Myspace)
Family and friends search for closure in final verdict

The case of Lori Drew and her role in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier was a controversial one.  Meier was a teenager who suffered from bouts of depression, but was generally characterized and good-natured and outgoing.  When she committed suicide after an argument with her mother, it seemed like nothing more than a tragic case of teenage mental illness gone awry. 

However, then it came out that the argument with her mother was over cruel comments from a boy online who allegedly initially romanced her on MySpace and then turned hostile, eventually dropping a hint that the world might be a better place if she left it.  The only thing out of the ordinary -- the teenage boy, wasn't really a teenage boy; it was neighbor Lori Drew who wanted to allegedly "get Meier back" for supposed mean behavior towards her daughter.

When this came to light, federal authorities sidestepped local authorities, which would likely have delivered no charges.  They charged Ms. Drew with a variety of misdemeanors as well as four felony counts.

The trial was long and heated, with Ms. Drew's attorney arguing that Meier's suicide was less the result of MySpace, and more the result of a history of mental illness and that Ms. Drew could not be held responsible for not reading MySpace’s EULA, because "no one" does.  Meanwhile, prosecutors painted Ms. Drew as a mean-spirited woman who tormented young Meier and drove her to her unfortunate end.

In the end the jury found Ms. Drew guilty of three misdemeanor charges, while clearing her of three of the felony charges and reaching a deadlock in a fourth felony charge.  The result is that Ms. Drew will be sentenced to anything from probation to three years behind bars, avoiding felony sentencing which could have put her in prison for 20 years.

The reason the jury found her not guilty on the felony counts was due to lack of proof that Ms. Drew had typed the MySpace messages that drove Meier apparently to suicide.  The messages may also have been typed by Ms. Drew's employee or daughter, both of which were privy to Ms. Drew's scheme.

Tina Meier, Megan's mother says that despite the mixed nature of the verdict, that it's a victory.  She states, "This is about justice.  It's justice not only for Megan but it's justice for everybody who has had to go through this with the computer and being harassed."

MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam also praised the decision, stating, "MySpace respects the jury's decision and will continue to work with industry experts to raise awareness of cyber-bullying and the harm it can potentially cause."

The greatest impact of the case may be to spur government officials to enact new cyberbullying laws, which could allow criminal charges for those who goad youth into suicide.  Meier's case is not alone in this respect -- recently a teenager was encouraged by hundreds of onlookers in a video chat room to take pills and kill himself, which he did, dying hours later as the cameras rolled.



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RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/1/2008 7:08:21 AM , Rating: 5
Hmmmm I'm looking for the crime here though.

Telling someone to leave that it's better off without you. How the hell is that a crime?

Assisted Suicide - Crime.

Suicide Pacts - Crime.

Murder - Crime.

Providing the means to commit suicide - Crime, but you need to prove they provided the materials with full knowledge of the user's intent. Good luck.

So, again I have to ask, what the hell was the crime here? People commit suicide by the thousands every single day, likely many for the reason of someone was causing them grief, be it a parent, friend, kids at school, whatever. No charges get filed in most of these cases.

Unfortunately this entire case reeks of an angry mob out for vengence because a "poor innocent girl" was "driven to suicide by an angry and vicious woman".


RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 12/1/2008 8:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is actually how it is, for most rational people.

No, this is the emotional reaction to an event. This has no place in the legality of the matter.

quote:
Lori Drew could be considered as something of a sexual predator, as she used the anonymity of the internet to lure Megan Meier into what could be viewed as a sexual relationship.(pysih.com)

Your reaching here. I'd love to see the proof of this. As she was never charged with any crime having to do with the suicide or any sort of predatory behavior I would guess that there is no evidence to support that outlandish statement. I would also like to point out that you pulled that tidbit from "People you see in hell". Not a very reputable website to get legal information from now is it?


RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/2008 9:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
Master Kenobi I do completely understand your position on this matter but your stance makes sense only in one place, it is obviously courtroom. Is there laws that can punish this woman for her behavior? maybe not yet, in a way this could become first of it's kind, a precedent case, so do not expect decision based on human morals, reasoning and principles, so I will not try to prove facts, verify sources nor would eagerly destroy yours, bu I do expect one thing, that these troubles that face Lori Drew for her offensive activity would serve as deterrent for others, whether it would be legal penalty or condemnation of ordinary people.


RE: ridiculous
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not defending Lori Drew for her actions of pestering a 13 year old, but don't you remember high school? Stuff like this happens all the time in High school with actually children doing the act. If my 13 year old child was on anti-de


RE: ridiculous
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:39:50 AM , Rating: 2
crap.. pressed enter..

If my 13 year old child was on anti-depressents (which i wouldnt allow in the first place) I would have been keeping a much closer eye on them, especially with their online activity. I have not heard one question aimed at the girls parents, with what actions they were doing to help their child aside from shoving drugs down her throat. If this had been a case of student on student bullying, this story would be about the parents and not about the neighbor.


RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/2008 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
If my 13 year old child was on anti-depressents (which i wouldnt allow in the first place)

You see, sometimes there is just no choice. When you do all the best to help your child in need, and see how all your good intentions going down the drain and qualified psychotherapist tells you that your child's condition is so extreme that it needs drug treatment to deal with mental and emotional problems, there is no other way but to start treatment.
Yes, she was fragile, and we don't know if her life could be the happy one and would she ever enjoy it, but disturbing fact remains the same: ugly, ill-natured woman took advantage of troubled mind.


RE: ridiculous
By monitorjbl on 12/1/2008 1:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Look at that girl in the photo and tell me she was an extreme case.

This isn't about actual psychological conditions, at least not ones cause my chemical imbalances. From the evidence I've seen, everyone involved is pretty badly tweaked, but that girl was a victim of bad parenting, not nature.


RE: ridiculous
By othercents on 12/1/2008 2:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
I totally understand having to use anti-depressants on some extreme cases, but I also understand that they are over prescribed. The best way do work with people who have these issues are to help there self-esteem, but no amount of counseling would have have helped if there were outside influences causing the undermining of counseling. If an adult knew another person had tried suicide before then they should know that manipulating them this way could cause another attempt.

However there isn't any laws that stop this. There isn't any tracking setup that will prove that the person actually created the messages either. The owner of the account should be the one responsible for everything that happens on their account and at least be charged with aiding (once we have laws against cyber-bullying). From what I read the account was created for this purpose, so the intent is clear.

This case however had nothing to do with cyber-bullying and harassment. It defendent was charged basically with computer hacking (since there are laws against that). Maybe later they will find a way to deal with the wrongful death side of things.

Other


RE: ridiculous
By momwm616 on 12/2/2008 11:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
That website just gained credibility with me. While this woman was not charged in this girls death only god knows if she is responsible. She will pay I am sure of it. This will not happen through our legal system. It is not designed for the crime she commited.


RE: ridiculous
By maverick85wd on 12/1/2008 3:43:01 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
what the hell was the crime here?


I don't know, how about maliciously attacking a minor? Psychological assault is still assault. And seriously, this woman had years of life experience on that girl and should have known better. Yet people have the audacity to blame the parents for not monitoring her online activities. The parents thought she was talking to SOMEONE HER OWN AGE.

I find your argument of "it's not a crime" to be petty and not in good taste. Clearly this is an example of a case where little or no legal precedence has been established. Does that mean Drew was not in the wrong and thus doesn't deserve to go to jail for falsely creating a MySpace account with intent to inflict psychological harm? Ask yourself this question: If it was your kid, what would your feelings be then? Because if someone did something like this to my kid, there'd be no need for a trial.


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