Jury Selection Begins In MySpace Suicide Case

Jury Selection Begins In MySpace Suicide Case

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Jury selection has begun in the case of a mother accused of posing as a 16-year-old boy online in order to torment a 13-year-old girl, who was eventually driven to suicide by the incident.

Lori Drew, 49, allegedly joined MySpace under the name Josh Evans and contacted Megan Meier, a 13-year-old neighbor and former friend of Drew's daughter. Under that alias, Drew contacted and expressed "romantic interest" in Meier, beginning a correspondence that lasted for about a month. Prosecutors says Drew set up the account in order to find out what Meier was saying about her daughter in the wake of a falling-out between the two girls.

Ultimately, the "relationship" slid into online name-calling and was broken off, shortly after which Meier hanged herself in her room; she died the following day. Meier's mother claimed in late 2007 that her daughter had suffered from depression and "self-esteem issues" since childhood, and that she had been concerned about Megan's online contact with "Evans." She says she contacted the cyber-crimes department of the local police but was told there was no way to confirm that the Josh Evans account was real.

The charges against Drew do not stem directly from Meier's death, however; St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said, "There is no way that anybody could know that talking to someone or saying that you're mean to your friends on the internet would create a substantial risk [of suicide]. It certainly created a potential risk and, unfortunately for the Meiers, that potential became reality. But under the law we just couldn't show that." In fact, the final message sent to Meier, which said the world would be better off without her, apparently didn't even come from Drew; according to the indictment, it was sent by co-conspirators who also had access to the account.

Instead, she is being charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of "accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress," in violation of MySpace's terms of service, and Judge George Wu is considering excluding evidence of the actual suicide because it may be unfairly prejudicial and irrelevant to the actual charges. Drew's lawyer, Dean Steward, said the evidence should be excluded so the jury doesn't confuse the issues, arguing, "The jury is going to end up thinking that Lori Drew is being tried for the death of Megan Meier."

Opening arguments in the case could begin as early as Tuesday afternoon. Each count carries a maximum five-year sentence.

Source: CNN

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I still don't see why this isn't being tried as criminal harassment, or criminal negligence causing death. The medium isn't the important part of this case, it's the actions; you'd think the law should treat this case as if this had gone on by postal mail or telephone and still arrive at a just conclusion.

-- Steve

Holy shit, what a bitch.

She deserves death sentence!

What a pathetic piece of shit. That bitch deserves a dirt nap.

Still plausible civil case but not criminal.

Rankao:
Still plausible civil case but not criminal.

Your reasoning behind that statement is?

Did Lori and her co-conspirators know that Megan was suicidal or depressed?

At least Megan isn't in pain any more.

That mom's just sick, who the hell gets this kind of stuff into their minds? Ok so her daughter and that girl had an argument; BIG DEAL! It's their problem, not hers. Let them solve it. And even if she could meddle in her daughter's business, this is a sick way of going at it.

That's what you get when you let 13 year old kids use the internet.

But seriously:
WTF means "depression and self-esteem issues since childhood"
If you can't help your daughter fight that kind of problems for many years, she either has some kind of brain malfunction and should be treated pharmacologicaly or you are the cause of it
Clearly there was some fucked up shit going on in this family and the whole incident was just a trigger.

I mean sure that Drew lady was a total bitch, but it's not like she killed the girl.

This case was actually turned into an episode of Law and Order: SVU (I believe it was SVU, definitely Law and Order, though.

Kukul:
That's what you get when you let 13 year old kids use the internet.

But seriously:
WTF means "depression and self-esteem issues since childhood"
If you can't help your daughter fight that kind of problems for many years, she either has some kind of brain malfunction and should be treated pharmacologicaly or you are the cause of it
Clearly there was some fucked up shit going on in this family and the whole incident was just a trigger.

I mean sure that Drew lady was a total bitch, but it's not like she killed the girl.

Have a heart guy. Depression is not well understood even by experts in the field. "Brain malfunctions," as you say, cannot always be effectively treated with pills regardless of the severity of the case. Besides, no one wants to be pilled up all the time.

If you've suffered from depression or been close to someone who has, you know that modern medicine is completely insufficient to deal with the problem. For Major Clinical Depression, repeat cases are not only common, they're the rule.

Rooster Cogburn:

Kukul:
That's what you get when you let 13 year old kids use the internet.

But seriously:
WTF means "depression and self-esteem issues since childhood"
If you can't help your daughter fight that kind of problems for many years, she either has some kind of brain malfunction and should be treated pharmacologicaly or you are the cause of it
Clearly there was some fucked up shit going on in this family and the whole incident was just a trigger.

I mean sure that Drew lady was a total bitch, but it's not like she killed the girl.

Have a heart guy. Depression is not well understood even by experts in the field. "Brain malfunctions," as you say, cannot always be effectively treated with pills regardless of the severity of the case. Besides, no one wants to be pilled up all the time.

If you've suffered from depression or been close to someone who has, you know that modern medicine is completely insufficient to deal with the problem. For Major Clinical Depression, repeat cases are not only common, they're the rule.

Ok, you're right. I didn't put enough thought into my post.
I was suffering from a mild depression myself and was taking SSRIs but I figured out thats not a good solution (I was also afraid I'll become addicted) and quit. I guess I'll never be happy but at least I can enjoy something from time to time.
I understand problems of people who are severly depressed.
But my point is that if your child is suicidal you can't blame everyone else, but you, when he/she finally does it.
And I don't think that girl was diagnosed by a psychiatrist, they would've mention that.

Pseudonym2:
At least Megan isn't in pain any more.

That's a pretty desperate reach for a bright side there.

What I can't understand is how Megan's mother was apparently concerned enough to call the police, but not concerned enough to monitor the situation closely when it all came crashing down. It's probably not a fair assessment and in the end I suppose it makes no more sense to point the finger at Megan's parents than it does to accuse Brandon Crisp's folks of somehow dropping the ball, but if she was aware that her daughter was suffering from legitimate psychological problems (I'm not so sure "self-esteem issues" qualify, but clinical depression definitely does) and was suspicious enough of this MySpace connection to involve the police... what happened when the police told her they couldn't help?

Kukul:
But my point is that if your child is suicidal you can't blame everyone else, but you, when he/she finally does it.

I see your point, that's just a bigger leap than I'd be willing to take.

The word that comes to my mind isn't bitch, I won't spell it out but it starts with a capital "C" and rimes with runt. That girl's parents should be allowed to punch her in the throat until their arm cramps up.

MySpace seems like a magnet for lonely, depressed and stupid teenagers...

Only 5 years? Shit...

i think they were basically run out of town when it first happened and they did a whole "oh i did nothing wrong"

i wish they throw the book at her and toss her in jail

If being called names by someone who doesn't even exist as anything more than text is enough to get her to cap herself, the world isn't missing anything.

While my sympathy goes out to the deceased, I have to ask;

Why is this news?

I mean, don't get me wrong, that Drew is a complete bitch and I whole-heartedly sympathize with the family of the deceased, but I have to wonder why this is news specifically on a gaming website? Is it because it's connected to websites and the internet or soemthing?

Nevertheless, any death is tragic, and I give out my condolences (wording?) to the family and Megan. R.I.P.

HalfShadow:
If being called names by someone who doesn't even exist as anything more than text is enough to get her to cap herself, the world isn't missing anything.

You're an ass. You're heartless and not contributing. How can you say such things about a teenager killing them selfs.

I've been depressed for a while now, and thought of ending it multiple times. Things can affect anyone, even text over a screen.

EDIT: Also, it's tragic she killed her self. I feel for her family.

Something that just occurred to me: Is it possible that the advent of the internet, social networks, online support groups and all that sort of bullshit that goes along with the creation of the single greatest communications tool in the history of humankind, which you would probably think would provide kids with an outlet for these impulses, a place to find comfort among others who have had similar experiences and help from professional organizations, is actually facilitating teenage suicides?

I guess I'm thinking that when you put all these idiot kids together online - and I'm of sufficient age now that I feel sympathy for kids who are under this kind of pressure and recognize the existence of those pressures but still get to call them idiots - rather than giving them an outlet for their anxieties, they're getting the completely opposite idea: That the great number of like-minded people their age out there in the world means what they're feeling isn't wrong, and therefore it's okay to give in to those feelings.

Or is it simply that the net makes it easier to hear about these suicides, whenever and wherever they happen?

 

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