Since when do we get special privileges for committing crimes on the Internet? Apparently harassment is not prosecutable if it happens in cyberspace.
This is according to an article in the New York Times on Wednesday about the 13-year-old Missouri girl who hanged herself in her closet after the mother of an ex friend of hers waged an all-out campaign of harassment against young Megan Meier. At the end of the article, the prosecutor said he would not pursue charges against Lori Drew, who instigated the harassment and recruited her daughter (Megan’s ex friend) and an employee to join in. His reason, according to the article, was because current state statutes on harassment do not address Internet communication.
Harassment is harassment is harassment. And if that harassment leads to the end of a 13-year-old life, so precious and so new, then how could ANYBODY argue that there are NO laws that apply?
It makes me want to scream until I pass out. The thought that gangs of people can use the Internet to wreak havoc and destroy lives with impunity is enough to make me want to blow up the Internet. And I’m in the business of free speech.
With freedom comes responsibility. We’ve all heard it again and again and again. Inciting a young, inexperienced life to end itself is more than irresponsible, it’s criminal – particularly if the person inciting is a grown up.
Separate the medium from the crimes, Judges. And get yourselves some good forensics experts to back you up, Prosecutors. Because crime is crime is crime. And like it or not, crimes like these, regardless of whether or not the harassers used the Internet, are prosecutable under the full extent of the law.