ACLU: Michelle Carter Conviction Violates First Amendment
Carter is charged in the suicide of her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III.
He said Carter, then 17, had a duty to call someone for help when she knew Roy was attempting suicide. Records show a lengthy text message history between Roy and his girlfriend Michelle Carter, in which Carter repeatedly urges him to commit suicide. When he once got out of the vehicle, Carter texted: “Get the f*** back in”. Carter had allegedly encouraged him to kill himself, and while she was gone, Roy tried to do just that. She faces a minimum of probation and up to twenty years in prison. Judge Lawrence Moniz is deliberating Carter’s fate following a jury-waived trial that provided a disturbing look at teen depression and suicide.
Michelle Carter sits with her defense attorney Joe Cataldo during cross examination of defense witness Dr. Peter Breggin (not seen) during her trial at Taunton Juvenile Court in Taunton, Mass., Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
But during the trial Carter maintained her innocence.
Roys father said outside court that the family was pleased with the conviction. On July 12th, while she was miles away, he drove alone to a Kmart parking lot and hooked up a water pump that emitted carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck.
Another said, “All you have to do is turn on the generator and you will be free and happy”. He also said that Carter tried to help him at first, but when Roy refused, she made a decision to go along with his plan of action. “The time is right and you’re ready _ just do it babe”, she wrote.
“It is just an indication that some judges will be willing to find a manslaughter even when the encouragement comes from texting”, Levenson said.
CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos said that the judge’s verdict is concerning “because it reflects a judicial willingness to expand legal liability for another person’s suicide, an act which by definition is a completely independent choice”.
She did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck, the judge said.
“I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ’cause she knew exactly what she was doing”, she said. She was ordered to not contact members of Roy’s family and to surrender her passport. Knowing, or at least having the state of mind that 15 minutes must pass, Miss Carter took no actions…
Carter and Roy, who had attempted suicide multiple times in the past, both struggled with psychiatric problems.
The northeastern state of MA, unlike other USA states, has no law against encouraging someone to commit suicide.