Judge Denies Dismissal of Manslaughter Charge in Suicide

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Charges Stand Against Teen Accused of Encouraging Friend’s Suicide.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A juvenile court judge ruled that an 18-year-old Massachusetts teenager accused of encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself should face an involuntary manslaughter charge, denying a motion to dismiss the charge. A defense attorney for Michelle Carter argued that a text conversation between Carter and Conrad Henri Roy III were protected under the First Amendment and not proof of a crime, the Boston Globe reports. The decision, handed down in New Bedford Juvenile Court by Judge Bettina Borders, paves the way for the case against 18-year-old Michelle Carter to go to trial.

Prosecutors say Carter frequently talked with Roy about how he could kill himself, and when he panicked and tried to stop, she encouraged him to go through with the act. Carter’s attorney says her text messages to Roy were free speech – noting that encouraging someone to commit suicide is not illegal under Massachusetts law. We can now focus our efforts on preparing for the upcoming trial in this case,” Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Tuesday in an email. “I’m both surprised and disappointed,” he said. “I’m surprised the court didn’t analyze the text messages that Michelle Carter sent to Conrad Roy throughout June (of 2014) asking him to get help,” he said.

She also cited text messages Carter allegedly sent to her friend in which she said she told Roy to get back in his truck when he became afraid. “The Grand Jury could find probable cause that her failure to act within the 45 minutes, as well as her instruction to the victim to get back into the truck after he got out of the truck, caused the victim’s death,” the judge wrote. I looked it up on FindLaw.com, and it said, “Three elements must be satisfied in order for someone to be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter: Carter showed a pretty reckless disregard for Roy’s life, and she must have known that her words were “inherently dangerous” to him and a threat to his life. However utterly wrong we recognize her encouragement to be, some part of its tone sounds typical-teen-ish; a very misguided attempt to offer genuine support and loyalty — as only teenagers can go over the top, and way wrong, in showing loyalty to each other. Certainly it sounds as if Carter adds to that element of teen loyalty a measure of mental turmoil all her own; she clearly needs psychological help, as did he.

Whether or not Carter’s words and actions were illegal, they were a crime against human decency, and evidence of a total lack of conscience — with terrible, terrible consequences. The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” I believe we are to be responsible for how we interact with and influence others.

We live in a time when people do not want to be held responsible for their actions, and do not want to pay the consequences for their behavior and words. It appears that Conrad suffered from depression and may have slipped through the cracks of being provided with helpful counsel and support, although he may have been receiving support, but still decided to end his life. I am not saying that some person of genuine faith could not find themselves in such darkness that they commit suicide and so disqualify themselves from Paradise, it’s just that Christians know that even in the “valley of the shadow of death,” God is there. In such circumstances, the Church community, the real friends and family of a depressed person, will rally to exalt life, to encourage the person, and to intervene to save him. Yes, Roy was a free agent, not forced to obey her, but I think she bears moral responsibility for his death, and that her actions show that she is horribly flawed, mentally and emotionally.

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