New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Scott Greenfield has a fascinating examination of the dismissal motion in the Lori Drew prosecution.
Drew is accused of helping her daughter set up fake MySpace page to trick a troubled young girl named Megan Meier into thinking she had made a new friend. Later, this “friend” turned mean and abusive and ultimately suggest that Megan should kill herself. Which is exactly what Megan did.
As reprehensible as Lori Drew’s behavior was, she was not charged with a crime in Missouri, where all this happened, because prosecutors couldn’t find a law against it.
However, a federal prosecutor in California decided to make a name for himself by charging Drew with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for violating MySpace’s Terms of Service by creating a fake MySpace page.
Drew’s lawyers filed a dismissal motion, and Scott Greenfield critiqued it and came up with some additional reasons why this prosecution should be dismissed. If you’re interested in this issue, I strongly recommend you read Scott’s post. He explains the somewhat subtle issues very clearly.
By the way, the obvious absurdity in this case—that it’s based on an interpretation of criminal law that, if accepted, would make federal felons out of 95% of all computer users—is apparently not a permitted reason for dismissal.