Lori Drew has been convicted of three misdemeanor counts of computer fraud in the MySpace suicide of young Megan Meiers, 13 when she hung herself.
A jury deadlocked on a fourth count of conspiracy but reduced the charges from felony to misdemeanors. Said Tina Meiers, Megan's mother:
"For me it's never been about vengeance," she said. "This is about justice."
U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien described Drew as a vindictive, dysfunctional person.
"Lori Drew decided to humiliate a child," U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien, chief federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, told the jury during closing arguments. "The only way she could harm this pretty little girl was with a computer. She chose to use a computer to hurt a little girl, and for four weeks she enjoyed it." (ABC)
The case was prosecuted under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, originally intended to prosecute hackers. Did Lori Drew effectively hack MySpace for nefarious purposes? Some people think it's quite a stretch."This was a very aggressive, if not misguided, theory," said Matt Levine, a New York-based defense attorney and former federal prosecutor. "Unfortunately, there's not a law that covers every bad thing in the world. It's a bad idea to use laws that have very different purpose."
But another expert says the case proves the law is very potent indeed."What you learned is that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is an extremely important tool in the federal arsenal against computer crime," he said.