Friday, May 16, 2008

Prosecutor Indicts Third Party for MySpace Suicide

The problems with the legal case are discussed here. Some documents here.

The suicider had ADHD, a disorder with impulsivity at its core, and felt depressed. The parents are delighted about the indictment, the article reports. That indictment relieves them of the correct explanation that their daughter made a big mistake. It allows them to scapegoat a stranger. Given the greater time they spent with the suicider, their utterances and criticisms of her behavior are far more likely to have been the cause of the suicide. One should sift the facts to insure there is no scapegoating for simple acts of non-compliance by the suicider, such as skipping her medication. If there is a low level of prescription medication in the toxicology report, it explains her suicide better than a chat room posting.

The prosecutors should at least prove causation. Suicide is the act of another in this case, and not the act of the defendant. The prosecutors need to be removed from office. All legal costs should be assessed to the personal accounts of the rent seeking lawyers.

This case illustrates the extent to which scapegoating can substitute a witch hunt for What Works.

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