Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

ACLU: Michelle Carter Conviction Violates First Amendment

Following Roy III's death, Carter set up a fundraiser for mental health awareness in her late boyfriend's name and also wrote about suicide prevention on her Facebook timeline, according to the Sun Chronicle.

He said he was surprised at the verdict because Carter was not at the scene and Roy ultimately acted along, and it was hard to prove she "caused" the death.

"Instructing Mr. Roy to get back in the truck constituted wanton and reckless conduct, creating a situation where there's a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm would result", Mr Moniz said.

Matthew Segal, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of MA, said that while Roy's death was a "terrible tragedy", it was "not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our constitution".

Carter is charged in the suicide of her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III.

"In court Tuesday, Bristol County prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called them boyfriend and girlfriend, which seems belied by the fact that Roy and Carter ever only saw each other two or three times after they first met. Do you want to do it now?" "You just keep pushing it off to another night and say you'll do it but you never do". Her sentencing hearing was scheduled for August 3. "The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it!" she texted.

He said Carter, then 17, had a duty to call someone for help when she knew Roy was attempting suicide.

Judge Moniz may have set a unsafe precedent with his decision, said longtime Quincy, Mass. attorney Bob Harnais.

"It's a new day and age, your honor, and the phones that we have now allow you to be virtually present with somebody", Rayburn said. "This was a suicide-a sad and tragic suicide, but not a homicide".

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Roy had previously attempted suicide and Carter had taken psychiatric medications, according to trial testimony.

Carter ordered him by phone to "get back in".

In one text, Carter, then 17, wrote to Roy: "You're finally going to be happy in heaven".

Michelle Carter, now 20, was convicted in Bristol Juvenile Court in a case that could have broad implications for how prosecutors and judges address criminal intent in the age of instant communication and ubiquitous social media engagement.

Carter's lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, argued that Roy was determined to kill himself and nothing Carter did could change that.

The court heard more than 20,000 text messages exchanges were made - with more than 1,000 of those messages sent in the days leading up to Roy's death.

The case gained widespread attention from legal experts and the public.

In an official statement released by the Massachusetts ACLU, Segal states that, under Massachusetts law, it is not illegal to encourage, or even persuade, someone to commit suicide.

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