Friday, July 03, 2009

Lori Drew verdict set aside in MySpace suicide case

The judge has reportedly set aside the earlier jury verdict holding a Missouri woman, Lori Drew, responsible for driving a teenage girl to commit suicide, through exchanges in MySpace.
"A federal judge on Thursday overturned guilty verdicts against Lori Drew, issuing a directed acquittal on three misdemeanor charges.

Drew, 50, was accused of participating in a cyberbullying scheme against 13-year-old Megan Meier who later committed suicide. The case against Drew hinged on the government’s novel argument that violating MySpace’s terms of service was the legal equivalent of computer hacking. But U.S. District Judge George Wu found the premise troubling.

“It basically leaves it up to a website owner to determine what is a crime,” said Wu on Thursday, echoing what critics of the case have been saying for months. “And therefore it criminalizes what would be a breach of contract.”"

The LA Times and others also have reports on the decision.

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