Without even linking to too many stories all over the web about the MySpace trial in California, I wanted to summarize my thoughts. The actual event took place right outside of St Louis, so it was close to home. Missouri had a crime law that was too specific and only including the telephone. Even while it was modified (actual Senate changes ), the case was still not heard in Missouri.
I think that the instrument used in the crime, in this case a computer, should not have been the focus of the crime itself. I say that since the trial was moved to where the MySpace servers are located and treated as a computer case in the charges filed.
I believe that if you knowingly cause physical or emotional harm to someone that you also knew had current emotional issues, then the crime is apparent. Missouri said they couldn’t prove that harassment was intended:
"Their purpose was never to cause her emotional harassment that we can prove," Banas said. "There’s a difference between what people think or what we may believe the reason was that they created this, it’s what we can prove and what a jury would believe."
This quote is from St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas. Maybe I am way off, but there was nothing but the attempt to cause this type of harm. The whole purpose of the woman pretending to be a young boy and then dump a neighbor girl with a known emotional problem should be taken as humor?
The current Missouri law classifies the above as a class A misdemeanor unless done by someone over 21 years old against someone under 17 years old. Then it becomes a felony charge. Once again this meets the criteria if the state law had not been so old that it only included the telephone as electronic communication.
Each state, and federally, need to create laws to address the trends in social stalking, harassment and even squatting (which will be a post shortly).
Hopefully this quickly summarizes our thoughts on what happened and our thoughts are with the family and their loss.