MySpace Trial Jury May Not Even Hear About Megan Meier's Suicide

Illustration for article titled MySpace Trial Jury May Not Even Hear About Megan Meiers Suicide

The latest news on the Lori Drew trial is frustrating and confusing: Apparently the judge will prohibit prosecutors from presenting evidence of Megan Meier's suicide as part of their case. "I don't necessarily think the suicide is relevant to the crime charged," Judge George H. Wu says. He thinks details of Meier's death would "unfairly prejudice the jury."Lori Drew is accused of using a fictitious profile on MySpace to drive Megan Meier, her daughter's former friend, to hang herself. She's pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization. She's being charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is usually used for hackers and high-tech crimes. But this Act has never been used in connection with a Web site's "terms of service" agreement. Still, the most terrible part about this case is the fact that a 49-year-old woman tormented a 13-year-old girl to the point that the child took her own life. If the jury doesn't hear about the suicide, does the prosecution have a chance of winning? MySpace Trial Judge: Suicide Not Relevant [CBS News] MySpace Hoax Jury May Not Hear About Suicide [CNN]

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DISCUSSION

The suicide is irrelevant. Look at the charges. This isn't emotional distress. The charges are computer based, it's about falsely portraying yourself.

Yes, there should probably be an IIED suit, but that's a civil matter. Folks, let's not forget that originally no one thought we could even charge her. There's no real precedent. And it's unlikely this case will be successful.

The issue isn't to complain about the judge. If you want it to be different, go write a letter to your state legislators to change the law in your state to stop this kind of action.

Yet again, Jezebel, y'all are in serious need of a legal correspondent who actually gets this stuff instead of just spreading inflammatory freak-outs.