“Jury convicts mom of lesser charges in online hoax”

“A Missouri mother on trial in a landmark cyberbullying case was convicted Wednesday of only three minor offenses for her role in a mean-spirited Internet hoax that apparently drove a 13-year-old girl to suicide.” Numerous critics had assailed the prosecution of Lori Drew as based on overbroad criminalization; we covered the controversy here, here, and here. (Greg Risling, AP/Buffalo News, Nov. 26).


  • Is there a person alive who has not violated terms of service agreements? This was what she was convicted for. Hasn’t everyone created fake persona for the purpose of keeping your real e-mail address, identity, and home address private when sights want your information. Heck, it is even possible that the presently used identity here is bogus.

  • The whole thing is a travesty of justice. First, that she was convicted of this in the first place. Second, that evidence relating only to Megan’s suicide and not to Lori’s fraud of Myspace was introduced. Third, that she was not convicted of something relevant to the suicide.

    In stretching the law to cover Ms. Drew, the prosecutor has revealed the naked force behind the law.

    Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

    This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down (and you’re just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

    Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  • […] Disturbing implications from Lori Drew case of criminalizing website “terms of service” [Kerr @ Volokh and more; earlier] […]