The ‘Texting-Suicide’ Case is Changing the Course of the Legal System

family
August 03, 2017

Michelle Carter, the now 20-year-old girl who urged her boyfriend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide via text in 2014, was sentenced on Thursday, August 3rd to 2.5 years in prison. Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter during a jury trial back in June of this year.

If given the maximum sentence, this young girl could have served up to 20 years in prison. Minimal sentences included probation and little jail time, which she ultimately received. 

This “texting-suicide” case is very unique and unusual. Prior to Carter’s conviction in June, it raised many questions in the legal system including, “Can someone be convicted even if they didn’t actually ‘pull the trigger’ or ‘physically harm the victim?’”

The answer is yes. Previously, one professor commented on the very serious issue of cyberbullying, “This sends a strong message to people that using technology to bully people into committing suicide will not be tolerated.”

A Fox News host also mentioned the details of a legal analysis he read leading up to Carter’s sentencing. In the analysis a lawyer reportedly stated, “We are entering some new legal ground in the year 2017 that we are just scratching the surface of, where you can convict someone not for use of a weapon, but simply for their words, even though the other person—miles away—was the one that actually took their own life."

The key takeaway: Words are considered weapons. 

Read full details on Carter's sentencing here. Please continue to pray for the families affected by this horrible tragedy. Thank you!