Michelle Carter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

Here are the details.

Michelle Carter has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy, ending a trial which captured national attention and raised profound questions about mental health, suicide and freedom of speech.

Judge Lawrence Moniz issued the verdict Friday morning, ruling that verbally pressuring someone into suicide can be considered manslaughter in Massachusetts. Carter had waived her right to a jury trial and faces up to 20 years in prison.

This girl is a contemptible human being. When her boyfriend was pumping carbon monoxide into his pickup to kill himself, he got sick and scared and got out. Via text, she commanded him to get back in and die. He did. She didn’t try to stop him. She didn’t call for help. She didn’t inform his family. She ordered him to die.

That is sick beyond words but was it manslaughter? I say no. I say the boyfriend was ultimately responsible for his own death. I say that telling someone to kill himself is not a form of homicide and doesn’t become homicide if he follows through. Is is bullying or harassment? Sure. Is it incitement to commit a crime? Probably. It isn’t, however, homicide.

The boy ultimately killed himself. He did it by his hand. He made the decision. He is fully responsible. He should not be absolved of responsibility by charging an evil, rotten girl with a form of homicide.

There are several crimes she could have been charged with other than manslaughter. What she did was vile and inhuman, but it wasn’t homicide.

Thoughts?

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13 Responses to Michelle Carter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

  1. Bman says:

    …..that about sums it up for me.

  2. MadBrad says:

    Involuntary Manslaughter is certainly not the same as Murder. She is guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter but there should be a sentence enhancement for malicious conduct. Most people who get convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter are people who genuinely did not think that their actions would result in someone’s Death. This chick did what she did knowingly trying to cause Death. Her conviction is appropriate.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      So if someone is standing on a ledge contemplating suicide, a crowd gathers and someone yells “JUMP!” (as often happens) is it manslaughter if he does it?

      Is it a crime to tell someone to kill himself? If not, does it become a crime if someone does kill himself?

      Do we only have freedom of speech if no one takes it seriously?

      • MadBrad says:

        This girl engaged in a deliberate effort over an extended period of time with the intention that her efforts would result in the death of another person. Under the legally upheld concept of vicarious liability she is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She will probably get a 5 year prison sentence that will result in one year of confinement and several years of limited house arrest followed by a few years of supervised release. She will be ordered by the Court to undergo psychological treatment and all of that is appropriate. She’s a psycho.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          She did nothing but speak. She didn’t kill him. He killed himself.

          She is a vile, nasty and evil creature, but I think this is a ruling that will be overturned on appeal. He killed himself. It is on him. No one can kill you with a text message.

          This is a nightmarishly slippery slope. What other text messages can get you a long prison sentence?

          • MadBrad says:

            Sure. The case may get overturned after she has endured the near term consequences of her actions. There needed to be some consequences to her actions besides a trial and an acquittal. She needs to see the inside of a prison cell for a little while. Maybe she will then develop a greater appreciation for her life and maybe the lives of others. I doubt it though.

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    In some states assisted suicide is illegal. Not in MA. I would say that if she did what she did in a state where assisted suicide is illegal, she could be charged with that offense.

    • Jim22 says:

      What does the law say in that jurisdiction? I think the prosecutor, and the judge, convicted her for a reason. If what she did was a violation of the law there then they did the right thing.

      There are plenty of laws that people feel are unfair or overly strict. This may be one. Rather than crying ‘Unfair’ and deciding the law should be ignored people who don’t agree with it should work to change it.

      • R.D. Walker says:

        Assisted suicide isn’t illegal in Massachusetts.

        • Jim22 says:

          “Assisted suicide isn’t illegal in Massachusetts.”

          I posit that that is a fine point that does not cover this case. The Judge took more than that into account before he made his ruling. It appears that this young woman believed she would be covered by the State’s not illegalizing assisted suicide. That’s probably why she waived a jury trial.

          What this sentence does is establish precedent. The judge knew that when he decided. Unless his decision is overturned this precedent will affect all further similar cases in that state.

          We can expect that the decision will be appealed but if upheld it will become law.

  4. JenR says:

    Is the judge using a similar argument that was used in convicting Charles Manson of first degree murder, though he didn’t actually murder anyone?

    From an article in Psychology Today:

    Charles Manson was convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder for his role in the killings. This is despite the fact that he never murdered anyone himself during the family’s killing spree. Instead, he ordered his followers to murder for him. This is known as murder by proxy. A proxy murder is defined as a murder in which the murderer does so at the behest of another, acting as his or her proxy.

    Essentially, his family was doing Manson’s bidding when they killed on his behalf and in compliance with his orders. The court ruled that Manson’s family was an extension of him. The judge concluded that when his followers committed murder for him it was the same as if Manson had done it himself.

  5. Rich says:

    Vicarious liability is generally restricted to legally recognized control or quasi control relationships such as parent child. or employer employee. IT is a doctrine from civil law. To extend that notion to BF/GF seems tenuous at best – especially when applying criminal liability. I do not know if the Judge’s decision cited to the principle of vicarious liability to justify his decision. I can say that if he did so, it will be, if upheld, a significant, and unjustified (IMHO) expansion of that doctrine.