The tool used to commit a crime might amplify harm and justify more severe punishment but it doesn’t change the nature of the crime.
A judge dropped the “cyberbullying” conviction against the woman who allegedly contributed to the suicide of a 13 year old girl.
The judge found the particular law she was prosecuted under, “illegally accessing a computer”, was unconstitutionally vague and could be applied to anyone who violated a social network’s terms and conditions.
The defendant says she never should have been prosecuted.
Here’s what she was accused of doing:
Prosecutors said Drew sought to humiliate Megan by helping create a fictitious teenage boy on the social networking site and by sending flirtatious messages to the girl in his name. The fake boy then dumped Megan in a message, saying the world would be better without her.
She hanged herself a short time later, in October 2006, in the St. Louis suburb of Dardenne Prairie, Mo.
If an adult, disguises him or herself as a teen and uses that false identity to approach a thirteen year old child for the purpose of manipulating and harming that child, isn’t that a crime?
If the direct result of those actions is mental anguish for that child — if the indirect result is the death of that child, isn’t that a crime?
If not, we need to reform our existing laws not distract ourselves coining a new “cybercrime” to describe people who happen to do this using MySpace.
Defendant Says Dismissal of MySpace Hoax Case Linked to Suicide Was ‘Â‘Proper’ – washingtonpost.com http://bit.ly/lyAoa