back to article Lori Drew guilty in MySpace bully trial

The woman accused of using MySpace to bully a vulnerable teenage girl who subsequently killed herself has been found guilty of three charges. The case was heard in Los Angeles because that is where the MySpace servers are. Lori Drew created a fake MySpace profile in the name of Josh Evans. She used the persona to flirt with a …

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Dead Vulture

Factual errors in this story

Lori Drew did *not* send the final message encouraging the poor girl to commit suicide. This was sent by Ashley Grills who has admitted as such.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/15/internet.suicide.ap/index.html

The UK media's reporting of this incident has been utterly lazy and incompetent.

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@Eddie

but... it's bad enough for lids to get bullied by their peers (my son suffers, he has ADHD) without the parents pitching in. Adults should and do know better, this was just way too evil an act to pass unpunished.

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Violating MY Space terms should not be a crime.

Lori Drew is an evil, unrepentant liar who's responsible for the death of a vulnerable child. She deserves to rot in hell.

That said, she does not deserve to be convicted of a wholly invented "crime" of violating MySpace terms of use. I predict this case will be overthrown on appeal.

I also hope the child's parents sue Lori Drew in civil court, and prevail.

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Link?

Interesting that the linked cnn article does not actually claim ashley grills sent the final messages encouraging the girl to commit suicide. Presumably Eddie's linking is also lazy and incompetent.

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Coat

@Factual errors in this story

>The UK media's reporting of this incident has been utterly lazy and incompetent.

Careful, if the editor of The Sun reads that and kills himself - you could go to prison!

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Does this mean...

...any snidey comments made under an assumed net identity can be prosecuted?

If so we're all doomed...

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@Martin

>Careful, if the editor of The Sun reads that and kills himself - you could go to prison!

Yes, but the world would be a better place.

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Dead Vulture

@ AC

I'm not defending Lori Drew's behaviour. I just think the media should get off their lazy arses and report it accurately.

The sad fact is that the final evil act *has* gone unpunished. I believe Grills made an early plea bargain and got off scott free. Drew has been made a scapegoat for the girl's suicide by a lazy media and a corrupt system of justice which uses such mechanisms as "plea bargains" which guarantee indemnity to people if they agree to make the lawyers' and judges' workloads lighter. The result is that the only person who they can indict over this sorry incident is someone who's involvement in the whole thing appears to be rather minor. Drew went down for a misdemeanour, because after all they couldn't actually get her for any of the trumped up felony charges they fired her way.

@ Other AC

Why don't you read the article all the way to the end? Or if you're too lazy and incompetent here's the relevant quote: "Grills also said she wrote the message to Megan about the world being a better place without her. " Pretty specific in my opinion, but you do have to actually work your way through several hundred other words first.

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huh....

keep in mind that if this case had been a little different (preying on the minor and exploiting them got get the minor to meet for "and adult encounter", well, that's on the books as a crime. this case is just a demonstration of how things slip through the cracks. Lori created a Myspace page with the intent of spying on... an underage girl (to see if she was spreading rumors about her own brat). Then specifically told her assistant to "get mean" right before the final message. Lori's not alone in culpability in this, but she started the snowball rolling. Her personal knowledge of the victim, including the victim's depression, allowed her to manipulate a depressed and lonely child, to the point that the child offed herself.

as for the defense "Noone reads the fine print, so you can't hold her responsible for it" screams guilt. "ignorance of the law is not a defense".

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Anonymous Coward

So...

...Why wasn't she convicted of being a peado instead? She was flirting online with an underaged girl....If it was a bloke doing that they would have called it grooming!!

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Lori Drew verdict

In my view, the verdict in this case was reasonable, if anything could be called "reasonable" in light of the human tragedy involved. Lori Drew was neither innocent nor a murderer. Her irresponsible disregard for the potential harm in the scheme she facilitated deserved not only moral but legal redress, particularly given her status as a middle-aged parent involved in conflicts between adolescents. Whether the legal validity of the verdict will be upheld on appeal remains to be seen, but the law has always used tools at its disposable to achieve justice, even when the tools were designed for different circumstances, and this is an appropriate mechanism if not abused. It's worth recalling that Al Capone, the murderous boss of the Chicago crime syndicate many decades ago, escaped imprisonment until he was finally convicted and sentenced for tax evasion - having failed to report the income from his criminal activities.

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US legal system as out of control

This reinforces the impression that the legal system in theUS is out of control.

What Lori Drew did was mean spirited, stupid and vindictive. She should be criticised and scorned but she did not commit a crime. Being unpleasant and nasy to someone is not a crime even if they do subsequently commit suicide. Electronic communication seem to encourage excessively critical or abusive language, jailing someone in widely publicised cases is the modern equivalent of a Lynch Mob.

If every time somebody does something which is mean spirited and stupid using a computer laws are reinterpretted to make it a crime then almost anyone could be convicted and imprisonment is as arbitrary as in a totalitarian state.

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Flame

What next?

Ban books that are too depressing? Put people in jail for looking angrily at someone? Where does this crap end? Regardless of how evil that stupid woman is i don't see how she could face jail time. All that "vulnerable" little moron had to do was shut off her computer or just ignore her. This whole thing is as stupid as suing ISPs for facilitating copyright infringement....oh wait.

Flames 'cause the bleeding hearts out there will crawl out of the woodwork to say how mean i am and how much of a victim that dumbass was. Darwin wins again.

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She should not be convicted

However, being put in the stocks and horsewhipped would be thoroughly appropriate.

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I'm of two minds about this

On one hand, I do not believe in abusing the legal system...

On the other hand, I believe it is necessary to make people responsible of what they do and say on the web. What if they had hired a real teenager to flirt with her and dump her in the worst way possible? I am fairly certain that this would be punishable.

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Exactly how fragile ARE kids these days, anyway?

I agree that Lori Drew deserves some kind of slow painful humiliation for picking on a kid (doesn't she have adult stuff to do like grocery shop or laundry or hold a job?) and think the suggestion of paedo charges (per post by AC at 20081127 17:03 "So... ") would be worth a shot (if posing as a teenage boy in order to flirt with and manipulate hetero teenage girls is all it takes to earn that accusation, what's the hold up? Let's do it!), but I am also concerned that the charges ("accessing a computer without authorization", wtf? The perp is an 1D10T, not a h4xx0r) stretch the intent of the law to the breaking point and much silliness/ stupidity will ensue.

At the risk of being pilloried next to AC above (20081127 19:36 "What next?"), if the kid in this case was getting abuse on her MySpace page, isn't there some kind of "blacklist" feature she could have used to shut up the meanies if she wasn't up to dishing it back at them? Or, failing that, couldn't she have just avoided MySpace altogether, just as one does not return to a restaurant with shit food and worse service?

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Good old British journalism...

El Reg's headline is "Lori Drew guilty in MySpace bully trial" while the BBC lead with "Woman cleared of MySpace bullying". What a confusing start to my day.

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@skeptical

You and a couple of others have missed a vital point, the account wasn't set up to purely abuse her, it was set up to gain her trust, lead her down the garden path, THEN abuse her. So she couldn't simply filter it out from the get go. From what little we know, it appears it was done in such a way to ensure it would have as big an impact on her as possible. Obviously they got a bigger impact than they expected.

Admittedly, I'm in that group that is uncomfortable with the laws they've bent to get some justice (I've often registered on sites with bogus info where I want anonymity / no spam for what I feel are valid reasons). I would far rather, as you and others have suggested, they gone after her on the more fitting grooming charges, which might have also have had the effect of underling to her and her local community the gravity of what took place.

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