Print 69 comment(s) - last by 16nm.. on Dec 3 at 1:43 PM

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 omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. Don't forget that prescription drugs are imprinted in our brains from television ads. What is it - 30% of all ads are for prescription medication? Think of what that does to a developing child in this day and age.
Its illegal in the US to have a commerical for a drug and while saying the name and what it does without having to disclose all side effects (risks and benefits, which can take up a lot of time in a 30 second spot). As such many companies forgo one or the other and come up with fancy marketing techniques so that people still know what they are selling.(Viagra does this very well) But do children as young as 12 know what most of these commercials are for? Probably not..
There's a reason why the USA is the only industrialized country in the world that allows drug Ads on TV.
Not true, Canada allows it, they just have more stringent rules. You can either show the product name or say what it treats, but not both, (unlike the US where you just have to list the sideeffects). Other countries follow similar rules, but mostly the reason that the US does it on such a large scale is because of private health care.
Just suppress symptoms. And of course the drugs themselves cause a whole bunch of other diseases that we're not even fully aware of yet.
Doctors are not idiots, people with no medical education making statements such as yours are idiots. Different drugs do different things, some suppress, some cure. Of course there will always be some bad doctors, but as in any field, there will always be the good and the bad, please do not make a generalization that you cannot back with any facts whatsoever..

I don't agree at all with giving children prescription drugs such as anti-depressants, or mood changing agents, but it really seems you have been watching too many late night infomercials with that guy that claims there are natural cures for everything, and the FDA is here to take over the world.

RE: ridiculous
By g35fan on 12/1/2008 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't say it was a fact - I said it was my opinion that doctorts/psychologists are idiots for the most part. And in my eyes a persons level of education has very little barring on my perception of a persons overall intelligence.

Just because someone goes to school for 7+ years doesn't mean squat to me. It's kind of a "book smarts vs street smarts" thing. I grew up with 2 people who are now doctors and trust me...they were and still are both idiots, lol. And not just in an incompetent way - just being tools of big pharms and totally being driven by monetary gain and egos.

Please inform me of ANY drug that CURES a disease please. I'm pretty darn certain there has never been one but maybe I'm mistaken. Again, in my opinion, we as human beings think we know just about everything but in reality we don't know squat. This is especially true in medical sciences.

Yes, I do know who Kevin Trudeau (spelling) is, lol. He's just another peddler/hustler trying to sell something obviously. Everyone's always trying to sell you something - either a product or an idea - never forget that.

We can agree to disagree on many points here but at least it seems we agree on the main issue here - children being given mood altering drugs is a terrible thing.

RE: ridiculous
By tmouse on 12/2/2008 9:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Please inform me of ANY drug that CURES a disease </quote

Antibiotics, It also depends how you define cure, while insulin does not "cure" type 1 diabetes meaning it does not regenerate beta cells; the only cause of the disease is the lack of insulin so supplementing it is in fact a cure albeit not a permanent one. There are many drugs that cure.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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