Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Lori Drew case was scheduled for a hearing today and the question was whether she would be sentenced or perhaps the case dismissed. According to press reports it looks like it may be the latter, although everyone is calling it a "tentative" ruling pending the court's written order. A key issue in the case was whether the computer statute that was used was appropriate for these alleged acts. (see here) The State where the alleged act took place - Missouri - did not have a cyberbullying crime at that time, although one has since been passed. Federal prosecutors in California brought this case, a case with a keystroke in Missouri, premised upon the contractual agreement one clicks with MySpace. They also used the conspiracy statute as it allows for a wide jurisdictional base, although Drew was not convicted of conspiracy. If the final decision is to dismiss the case, it would not be surprising.
See Alexandra Zavis, LATimes, Judge tentatively dismisses case in MySpace hoax that led to teenage girl's suicide ; Gina Keating, Reuters, MySpace suicide conviction tentatively dismissed; Linda Deutsch, AP, Judge tentatively acquits woman in MySpace case