On June 16, a young Massachusetts woman was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after urging her boyfriend to commit suicide. The court’s ruling may change the manner in which the American justice system considers autonomy and freedom of speech, as the judge believes the woman to be responsible for her boyfriend’s death.
Conrad Roy III and Michelle Carter met as teenagers in 2012. Although the two lived thirty miles from each other and rarely met in person, they developed a romantic relationship through virtual communication, especially text. According to The Cut Magazine, Mr. Roy confessed to Ms. Carter early in the relationship about his suicidal tendencies, and pressed Carter to commit suicide with him, stating, “Let’s do a Romeo and Juliet.” As reported by USA Today, the teen girl encouraged Roy for years to seek help for his depression to which he would reply, “There’s nothing anyone can do for me that’s gonna make me wanna live.” Carter would eventually face the conviction of causing his death.Photo by Glenn Silva
Roy was diagnosed with depression at age sixteen and had a history of attempting suicide. Though Carter had previously encouraged him to seek help for his suicidal tendencies, a drastic change occurred just weeks preceding Roy’s death. Carter began urging him to commit suicide, stating he could finally end the pain and find happiness in heaven.
On the day of Roy’s death, Carter said she would not sleep until he was dead. He went through with his plan during the summer of 2014, using a generator to fill his truck with carbon monoxide gas. He was only eighteen years of age. Carbon monoxide poisoning is an excruciatingly painful and lengthy form of suicide that may result in convulsions, bursting of blood capillaries and eyeballs, vomiting, and death, according to the Mayo Clinic. During the poisoning, Carter was on a forty-minute phone call with Roy, urging him to stay in the truck after he became “scared” that the gas was working. Carter never once called for help, instead texting a friend to say that she could hear Roy dying for twenty minutes. Carter’s final text to Roy consisted of her asking if he deleted their messaging history, as she feared consequences for urging him to commit suicide.
According to CBS, authorities began investigating Carter after finding the teens’ texting history on Roy’s phone. Carter lied to authorities, stating she was unaware of the suicide and had no contact with Roy on the day of his death. During the trial, Carter’s friends testified that she wanted her boyfriend to die so she could “play a grieving widow” to gain attention. Carter waived her right to a jury trial and was sentenced by the judge on June 16. Ultimately, the judge convicted the teen of involuntary manslaughter, believing her to be directly responsible for Roy’s death.
The ACLU argues that the judge’s conviction is unconstitutional and sets a dangerous precedent:
There is no law in Massachusetts making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide. Yet Ms. Carter has now been convicted of manslaughter, based on the prosecution’s theory that, as a 17-year-old girl, she literally killed Mr. Roy with her words. This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitutions.
Carter could face twenty years in prison for the conviction. Her sentencing hearing will be held on August 3, 2017, and Liberty Nation will be following the trial for updates.
Liberty Nation Today:
A Sneak Peek
China Protests: Did Not Xi that Coming – C5 - The oppressive regime of Xi Jinping has the people demanding his resignation. - Watch Now!
Is a Storm Coming? – LNTV – WATCH NOW! - How much worse will things have to get for America to fire the Democrats? - Watch Now!
Is the Greater Idaho Movement Coming Closer to Success? - In Idaho, crime is down, quality of living is up, and Antifa is terrified of rural areas – why wouldn’t rural eastern Oregon want to join? - Read Now!
Fact-Checking or Censorship? Google Doles out $13M to Poynter - The answer lies in what gets labeled misinformation and who picks up the tab. - Read Now!
Biden Pulls Air Marshals From the Skies to Babysit Migrants - Officials warn the president is risking another 9/11. - Read Now!