Woman who convinced boyfriend to kill himself faces sentencing
Aug 04, 2017, 00:29
"Assisted suicide is someone who assisted, it's never just words".
On the day that Roy committed suicide by hooking up carbon monoxide gas to the cab of his truck, Carter stayed on the phone with him and, at one point, told him to "get back in" to the truck.
Levenson, the Loyola professor, said that the judge's decision did not set a legal precedent because it does not bind other courts, but it sent a strong message that "there are new means of committing old crimes", and prosecutors will be more likely to look at those cases.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorneys Flynn and Katie Rayburn pointed to Carter's actions after Roy's death, including describing herself as a mental health advocate to friends and sparring with Roy's best friend over credit for a memorial baseball tournament in Roy's honor, as evidence that she was seeking to socially profit from his death. They displayed text messages on a projector in the courtroom in which Carter repeatedly pressures him to kill himself during the last two weeks of his life, berating him when he fails to follow through.
He predicted a sentence of one to 5 years, saying that no matter what, it would be "a very hard decision for the judge". "It's always gonna be that way if you don't take action".
The Massachusetts Bar Association, however, said the conviction was well within the confines of the law.
Carter has remained free on bail since the verdict. It both highlighted the dangers of cyber bullying and raised concerns among civil liberties advocates who argued that prosecutors and the judge overreached by finding Carter guilty for her speech. "If allowed to stand, Ms. Carter's conviction could chill important and worthwhile end-of-life discussions between loved ones across the Commonwealth". You're just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off.
Carter was indicted in 2015 and appealed, taking the case to the state's Supreme Court.
"She has not accepted responsibility", she said. "Michelle was a troubled, vulnerable teenager in an extremely hard situation and made a tragic mistake", he wrote.
Michelle Carter cries in response to a guilty verdict while in between defense attorneys Joseph Cataldo, left, and Cory Madera, on June 16, in Bristol Juvenile Court in Taunton, Massachusetts.
In convicting Carter, the judge focused his ruling on Carter telling Roy to "get back in" after he climbed out of his truck as it was filling with carbon monoxide and told her he was afraid. "Though some punishment would be appropriate - and I think the judge also needs to deter copy cats", he said. "I really don't know what I'm waiting for. but I have everything lined up". Roy and Carter had both previously experienced suicidal thoughts and had discussed committing the act together.
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