You may recall that this is the case in which our coblogger Orin Kerr (currently on leave from the blog because of his temporary government position) participated; he has written the leading law review article on the statute involved. Here’s a brief excerpt from an L.A. Times blog:
A federal judge tentatively decided today to dismiss the case against a Missouri woman who had been convicted of computer fraud stemming from an Internet hoax that prompted a teenage girl to commit suicide.
Lori Drew of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., was convicted in November of three misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing a protected computer.
The decision by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu will not become final until his written ruling is filed, probably next week. Wu said he was concerned that if Drew was found guilty of violating the terms of service in using MySpace, anyone who violated the terms could be convicted of a crime….
Drew 50, was to be sentenced in May but Wu had delayed the sentencing until today, saying he wanted to consider the defense motion to dismiss the entire case.
A federal jury convicted Drew in November of the three misdemeanor charges but deadlocked on a felony conspiracy charge that would have carried a sentence of up to 20 years in prison….
Orin’s detailed post on the subject — from before he decided to work on the case — is here; it’s very much worth reading.