The Teenage Girl Who Told Her Boyfriend To Kill Himself Is Guilty Of Manslaughter, Faces 20 Years

Submitted by: rumham 5 months ago in News & Politics


From CNN: In a case that hinged largely on a teenage couple's intimate text messages, Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Friday in the 2014 death of her boyfriend, who poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck, a Massachusetts judge ruled.
There are 105 comments:
Male 35
I've read some of their text messaging and the girl is getting off easy with manslaughter.  She literally convinced him to kill himself so she could bask in the attention/pity of being the grieving lover.  On several occasions he stated that he didn't think he could do it or had decided not to and she told him he had to do it and insulted his lack of integrity for backing out.  

She is directly responsible for his death by actively manipulating him for her own perceived benefit.  If you give someone a parachute pack packed with a tablecloth and then berate them until they jump from the plane are you free from guilt simply because they jumped?  How this isn't murder is beyond me.  

*edit: grammar
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Male 8,200
dapperaardvark I think 99% of us agree she's a manipulative bitch.  Problem is for me is the precedent this sets.  She wasn't in the same room, she wasn't talking to him over the phone, she was texting.  How is me berating or getting into an argument online or having a heated exchange with someone where the other person ends up killing themselves over something we were arguing about?  I think "intent" matters, this wasn't like Dr Kevorkian.   She may have honestly felt as if she was helping him, hell she may have been screwed up as well.  The young man killed himself.  Did her words help?  Probably but I'm not a big fan of the precedent this sets.  Where's the line drawn now?
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Female 62
normalfreak2 Provocation by any means to push a weaker more vulnerable person to kill themselves can be done by any means of communication.

I'm glad this sets a new president, you can't provoke anyone into killing themselves or others. Can't push anyone to do anything they don't want to do. 

So your evil plans for world domination must be put on hold. Unit a loophole is found and the kraken is once again released. Then we might get involuntary manslaughter because the kraken is a much weaker animal who enjoys killing and we encourage it. Run away!!
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Male 5,422
I've been thinking about this the past 24 hours quite a bit. I can certainly see how honest people can disagree on the verdict. One thing, however, is inarguable: Legally, this is a fascinating case.

Personally, I think the judgment is a good one. And in terms of backing that up legally, I'd reference Charles Manson. Manson will die in prison for murders he himself didn't commit but that were committed by others under his influence. I see this suicide as analogous to those homicides. In both instances, you had someone pulling the strings of another individual or individuals to effect something horrid.

Also, I've got to say I'm surprised by how harsh some of you are being in regards to the young man. He was 18, for heaven's sake. An 18-year-old's brain isn't fully developed yet. A lot of 18-year-olds haven't yet become anything like their adult selves. I have nothing but compassion for the young man--certainly no disdain.

Thoughts?
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Male 1,562
squrlz4ever excellent analogy using the Manson case.  That is a direct comparison to this.  He (Manson) didn't pull the trigger on a single Tate or Labianca murder but was convicted with his disciples.
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Male 3,808
squrlz4ever Technically, if you think about, it...she would have gotten "Manslaughter" if she was texting while driving and killed him...so...
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Male 5,422
kalron27 Good point.
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Male 684
squrlz4ever I'm not sure I feel this was the right decision, but I think the Manson comparison is interesting.  I can understand the reason the judge ruled as he did.  I really get nervous about setting new legal precedence, though.  I shouldn't have been, but was still surprised at the vitriol aimed at both of these kids.
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Male 8,200
faustsshadow The only thing I have against this is sentencing her as an Adult.  This 18 year old was a man.  He's the one that killed himself.  She did nothing other than talk and text to him.  Both brains are under developed and in the moment maybe she thought she was doing the right thing, She didn't pull the trigger, start the car, do anything.  Can I now goto jail for not calling the cops on my neighbors when I think they may be assaulting one another?  This is a scary precedent this judge is making.
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Male 5,422
faustsshadow Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that this is tricky territory we're entering into. Perhaps if I have some time I can see what the legal experts are saying online in the near future.

After my last comment, in which I stated that 18-year-old brains aren't fully developed, it occurred to me that such an observation equally applies to the girl, who was 17 years old at the time she sent those text messages. From what I remember, it's the prefrontal cortex that is still immature at 17 or 18, and it's that part of the brain that's in charge of impulse control and judgment. So while I think what she did was criminal, it also seems to me that some leniency is deserved on account of her youth.
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Male 1,604
squrlz4ever Actually, he said at the end of the video that the commonwealth finds her a youthful offender, which means there will be some leniency on the sentencing.
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Male 5,422
squidbush I missed that. Good to know. Thanks!
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Female 8,179
squrlz4ever not seen the case- but kids of 17, 19- even up to 21 should never be locked up for as long as an adult. Severely dangerous - as in badly damaged and potentially lethal - kids should certainly be put somewhere safe and humane. 20 years is stupid- for many many crimes by what are effectively kids it is appropriate to  have brief humane sentences. It all hangs on reoffending- and that is not helped by long custodial sentences. 
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Male 1,562
madduck I agree that the age needs to be taken into consideration.  But in America 18 through 21 year olds are demanding to be treated as adults and to get the benefits that go with it: this is one of those benefits.

In her case I think 7 to 10 years would fit the crime.  No less than 5.
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Male 3,808
madduck sentencing has not taken place.  Let's wait to see that judgment, but she was guilty for the crime she committed.

Just because this is unprecedented does not mean it was not a just verdict.  
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Male 1,562
kalron27 people will have their opinions but doing an ounce of research will show that this was not railroaded through: both Juvie and the Supreme Court felt there was sufficient evidence to go to trial and a judge, not a whacked out jury convicted her.  I will be interested to see how his decision stands up to appeal.
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Female 8,179
woodyville06 however- she is too young to have the ability to judge the consequences of her actions properly. thats a biological fact, so its not really right that she should be banged away for long, or in a non-supportive environment. 
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Male 684
This opens up a whole mess of legal issues.  She wasn't there; she was on the phone.  Yes, she encouraged him to follow through with his plans, after years of trying to get him not to.  There is also little mention that she was also, I believe, suffering from depression.  Possibly other things.  I have changed over the years, though, and am just not as quick to condemn as I once was.  Both of those kids were broken and there were plenty of people around them who weren't able or willing to help.

Would the kid have killed himself without her telling him to get back in the car?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I don't think she is a bitch, piece of shit, raging cunt, or any of the other things people here are calling her.  She's a person that made a bad decision while probably in a bad place herself.  She will live with that (or not).  I just don't know that it is criminal - and making it so sets some strange precedence for legal proceedings in the future.
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Male 15,404
He may have been on the edge, but she pushed him over. She wasn't some random person on the internet, she was a trusted person close to him. She knew he was vulnerable, she knew the likely outcome and the consequences of her actions.

It wasn't "involuntary" manslaughter.
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Female 474
Some of the messages she sent him, as reported by the BBC:

"Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself I don't know there's a lot of ways." 

"You're finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It's okay to be scared and it's normal. I mean, you're about to die."

And, in the moments before his death, she wrote: "You need to do it, Conrad" and "All you have to do is turn the generator on and you will be free and happy."

On one hand people have argued that he was depressed so he would have probably done it anyway. However, you could also view this as her taking advantage of someone she knew to be vulnerable. Maybe she wouldn't have done it if he wasn't already at risk because then it wouldn't have worked.

Fuck her. She deserves what's coming to her.
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Male 1,604
DrCribbens She even got the religious crap wrong. Suicides don't go to heaven.
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Male 721
She's pretty cute, why can't I find someone like her...
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Male 4,204
fuad119 Just wait a while, she will probably be on prisonchicks.com dating site.

Just look for the one with the massive forehead, easy to spot.
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Male 152
fuad119 probably better you don't considering she'd try to convince you to kill yourself
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Male 721
boredusernames01 Urmm yeah that's the kind of push I need.. I find life rather pointless and mundane..
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Male 765
I haven't followed this, but damn! On the surface of what I have read, there is no way she could be held in anyway responsible.

Every single one of you blokes that has ever been divorced would probably know exactly what thoughts go through your mind - some of which were probably vocalised. But ALL of it was just venting anger, and NONE of it was to be implied as being or taken as instruction.

Without reading anymore, I presume that this is parents trying to get "closure" (I fucking hate that word). Well guess what, your son had a weak constitution - get over it. Don't fuck up someone elses life as well.


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Male 765
stifler Actually I think I need to know a lot more. (And this is why we have COURTS!!!) My postulating is meaningless, and I leave it in the good hands of the honest judges.

If she was there telling him to get back into the car, then it follows that she may well have been there, watching, when he died.

Any normal human would have attempted to save a person in that situation. So she is guilty of being inhuman. And at the very least, probably man slaughter.

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Male 8,200
stifler Where do you draw the line?  It's feesible to now send to prison neighbors or just people that "see a crime or someone hurting themselves" and do nothing but walk away.  Or what about those people when someone is threatening suicide in there 5 story apartment window and hogging up traffic and people yell "Just get it over with" are they guilty now too?  (Unfortunately I actually witnessed this)  

Treating words as a weapon is a dangerous precedent.  
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Male 765
stifler oh and yes, she is still a cunt. just not a guilty one.

Ill bet her life goes to shit because of this though, she has to live with being dragged through the coals for the rest of her life.
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304
stifler   "The judge noted that the 18-year-old Roy climbed out of the truck as it was filling with toxic gas and told Carter he was scared. "Get back in," Carter told Roy, according to a friend who testified Carter described the conversation in a text message to her about a month after Roy died."  
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Male 765
pleasestop I recant.

She is a cunt.
She deserves everything.
Make that bitch pay.
Death penalty for the cunt.
eye for an eye - gas the cow.

Seriously, that does make it a whole lot harder than I first thought.

That said, it doesnt sound like he was being held at gun point. And without seeing her and him, could he have not over powered her?
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Male 357
She's a piece of crap yes but criminal no. Yes words have power but the guy was not a machine that had to follow instructions.
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Male 4,391
taxidriver apparently you don't understand the Power of Words especially on the week. Do you have any idea how the Third Reich or religion even work?
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Male 3,347
If someone can be chided - not coerced - into killing themselves, they would have done on their own eventually.
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Male 1,562
Despite the expert legal commentary of the court of IAB, Massachusetts convicted her.  I didn't hear all the evidence and the law that she was convited of breaking but sounds like the movie The Accused with Jodie Foster and Kelly Mcgillis.  Iirc the guy who was rooting the others on was convicted also.  Of course that was a movie.  
What if she handed him a weapon?  Would she be guilty then?  Is she always blameless unless she physically intercedes?

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Male 4,204
On the other hand, she is totally getting all that attention she wanted, so there is some silver lining here for her.
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Male 305
Bitch. Of course she will get the jail free gender card. Maybe the media eventually concludes her subhuman behavior was somehow the guy's fault.
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304
 "The judge noted that the 18-year-old Roy climbed out of the truck as it was filling with toxic gas and told Carter he was scared. "Get back in," Carter told Roy, according to a friend who testified Carter described the conversation in a text message to her about a month after Roy died." 
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Male 688
For every suicide there's a person that contributed to some degree. Are you gonna jail all those people now? Just no, you can't put people in jail for being a bitch. What are the charges anyway? "She told him so"? His decision after all. Sue for bullying, verbal aggression but not for manslaughter. Who's to draw the line what's illegal texting/talking and what's not? Who's to control what we are allowed to say to each other?
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Male 73
Well deserved...
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Male 1,284
Hmmm, maybe i should sue some people for rape.  I've been told to go fuck myself a lot.
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Male 1,562
waldo863 if you are physically endowed to where you can actually make that happen you sir have a future in adult films.
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Male 40,566
Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Unless an overreaching district attorney running for reelection decides otherwise.
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Male 1,562
Gerry1of1 let me revise the rhyme: "sticks and stones may break my bones but that bitch can fucking blow me"
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Male 5,422
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Male 1,562
squrlz4ever I always refrain from name calling and insulting others and try to keep the profanity to a minimum but this is an extreme case.
What she did is truly despicable.
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Male 5,422
Gerry1of1 "Words will never hurt me." There's a reason that sentiment comes from a childhood riposte and not from adult reasoning. While children may want to pretend otherwise on the playground, adults know that words have impact and consequences. Yes, they can hurt.

You can't yell "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater just for kicks. And if a mentally-ill person is teetering on the brink of suicide and holding a loaded gun to his head, you can't shout "PULL THE TRIGGER! EVERYONE WANTS YOU TO DO IT!" and expect to be held blameless.
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Male 40,566
I would not have convicted her. Yes, she's a shitty person but the boy had issues and you can't blame those on her.

Oh wait! Yes we can! This is America where no matter what SOMEONE MUST PAY! There's always someone to blame and you can't blame the dead guy.
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Male 4,391
Gerry1of1 let's say I con you out of your entire life savings. You're saying that would be your fault because you sign the check. I would not be guilty in anyway because all I did was talk to you.
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Male 40,566
dm2754 We are not discussing finance. You can't embezzle someones psyche  and write suicidal checks.

Keep the discussion real.
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Male 4,391
Gerry1of1 I'm surprised I always thought you were able to grasp simple Concepts.
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Male 40,566
dm2754            deflecting
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Male 4,391
Gerry1of1 that's a well thought-out rebuttal how long did it take you to come up with it. Try looking up the definition of coercion
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304
Gerry1of1  "The judge noted that the 18-year-old Roy climbed out of the truck as it was filling with toxic gas and told Carter he was scared. "Get back in," Carter told Roy, according to a friend who testified Carter described the conversation in a text message to her about a month after Roy died." 
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Male 21,133
Gerry1of1 You really think her next 20 years would be spent as a productive, well-meaning, thoughtful member of society? Let's be honest, she's a shitty person and the next 20 years in prison will do her good. If she does her full sentence (which she won't), she'll be in her late-30 -- she should have her shit sorted by then.
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Male 684
fancylad Because our prison system is so good at helping the mentally ill and in rehabilitating criminals. Prison sure will help her.
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Male 40,566
fancylad No, I don't think she would've been a good person. But you can't jail people for being shit heads. 1/2 the population and ALL of IAB would be serving life sentences. 
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Male 1,562
Gerry1of1 why wants to be Gerry's cell mate?  Anyone?  Show of hands?
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Male 40,566
woodyville06 I give a good foot rub!
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Male 5,422
Gerry1of1 LEMME OUT! LEMME OUT! LEMME OUT! ~Squrlz rakes his tin coffee cup back and forth on his cell's bars~
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Male 40,566
squrlz4ever You know what happens to fluffy tails in prison

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Male 5,422
Gerry1of1 LOL! I like the GIF.
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Male 4,204
Gerry1of1 Does that mean, you feel a person should legally be allowed to manipulate mentally disturbed people into committing suicide without recourse?  

That sure seems like what happened here.
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2,919
daegog 
Holy shit yes! Some people people are born smart, some people are born beautiful, some people are set to inherit millions, some  are born ugly but YOU are responsible for YOU and no one is equal. Casting your personal problems on others just makes you look weak. 
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Male 40,566
daegog It means just because I told you to "go fuck yourself" it is not my responsibility if you actually do.

Of course I would never tell you to do that..... just the first example that came to mind.
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Male 4,204
That's not an answer Gerry.

You could never convince me to do anything because i am not mentally disturbed enough to ever listen to you.

But there could be some broken, down trodden teenage types that WOULD listen to you.

You feel you should be able to convince as many of those as possible to kill themselves without recourse?

As our southern friends are want to say "That dog don't hunt"
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Male 40,566
daegog Actually, it IS an answer, but if you need one put simply to comprehend it...
No one is responsible for your actions except you... not that's what I said before...
ummm....


YES
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Male 4,204
Gerry1of1 Well why not be a good citizen then Gerry, just head on over to the local insane asylum (whatever they call them these days) and start convincing folks to off themselves?

You feel its your right and you could save the state millions in healthcare costs.
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Male 40,566
daegog Nothing better than exaggerating this topic out of proportion. The young man was not from an insane asylum.  He obviously had many issues that didn't stem from one girl. He probably would have offed himself anyway.

But let's go with he had no problems at all until she told him to kill himself. .... Cull the weak ones from the herd.
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Male 4,204
Gerry1of1 "He probably would have offed himself"... Really?

I will accept this as a true statement if you can give me ONLY 4 of 6 the Powerball numbers that will be drawn on 6/17 (tomorrow).  If you can get all 6, more power to ya.

Otherwise, I am gonna be a bit doubtful of your predicative ability.

Your murderous disdain for anyone you deem "weak" is acknowledged.  
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Male 40,566
daegog Suicidal people are suicidal. That one girl did not make him suicidal.
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Male 4,204
Gerry1of1 I believe in the right to die.  That said, I think that many people suffering from incredibly harsh mental stability issues should at least get some treatment before ending it all.

If the last person that guy heard was this chick egging him on to kill himself, then she is trash and jail is the place for her.  Consider just how low a human has to be to perform the actions she did.  It would be one thing if he told her that he was gonna kill himself and she did nothing.  I think thats 100% fine and her right.  To egg him on to kill himself, is another matter.

It wasn't that long ago, that homosexuality was considered a mental disease by the DSM.  Almost certainly many thought of them as weak, hell i suspect many still do.

Good thing we don't run around "helping" people with mental issues croak themselves or we might not be having this pleasant conversation right now.
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Male 40,566
daegog You're very wordy.
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2,919
I wouldnt have convicted. Yes shes a POS but damn, if a grown man can get talked into taking his own life by a teenager I say good riddance. 
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Male 5,422
skypirate That's pretty cold, Skypirate. And it's not like we're talking about a 40-year-old man who was influenced by some random teenager, as your sentence suggests. At the time this happened, they were both teenagers--she was 17, he was 18--and she was his girlfriend.
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2,919
squrlz4ever 
I like edit buttons as much as the next guy just make a new comment next time. 

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Male 5,422
skypirate My apologies. You were quick on the draw and in the first minute or two after posting, I'll often tweak a comment. I didn't know you'd responded already.
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Male 152
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Male 5,422
boredusernames01 What's "wreked"?
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2,919
squrlz4ever 
NP. Lets agree to disagree. 
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Male 40,566
squrlz4ever The harsh reality of life is that life is harsh.
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2,919
squrlz4ever 
Such is life. 
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Male 21,133
skypirate On the other hand, she could've been a human being and told him to not kill himself. To quote by Nigel Tufnel, "It's such a fine line between being clever and stupid."
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2,919
fancylad 
Legality and Morality rarely go hand in hand.
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Male 1,891
I don't see how she could be guilty in the eyes of the law.  What she did was inexcusable, inconsiderate and downright immoral but the end result was him making a choice.  I think this will be overturned on appeal.
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Male 1,562
insaneai youre wrong.  This was a case where she drove him to it over a period of time.  I dont think the court acted rashly, the evidence was there.
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Male 1,891
woodyville06 We're going to disagree on this.  All he had to do was turn off his phone.  There is no criminal act here. 
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Male 1,562
insaneai "there's is no criminal act here". Seriously?  Charges were brought, a grand jury indicted her, the juvenile court judge and the Mass supreme judicial court judge both directed she stand trial for the crime when her lawyer tried to get the charges dismissed and then a judge in good standing convicted her.  Excerpt from the judges ruling:

"In its ruling, the court found there was probable cause to show that “the coercive quality of the defendant’s verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the 18-year-old victim had to cope with his depression.”

“But for the defendant’s admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death,” now-retired Justice Robert Cordy wrote in the ruling."

Source:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/06/05/trial-starts-today-texting-suicide-case-involving-michelle-carter/S3citWceY4Zgz2VzgUR6cO/story.html
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Male 1,891
woodyville06 Yes.  Really.  The boy took his own life.  
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Male 1,562
insaneai well then, I won't waste anymore facts on your "opinion"
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Male 1,562
insaneai well then, I won't waste anymore facts on your opinion.
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Male 21,133
insaneai I think this will be overturned on appeal.

She won't spent more than a couple years after her appeal is granted. 
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Male 1,562
fancylad a couple of years is good enough.  This was extreme.
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Male 3,825
just a sad sad story all the way around. 
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Male 542
Seems fair. 
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Male 21,133
Yep, she's a rancid person. 
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Male 1,543
Jeez, and I was just looking for a new girlfriend, and i heard SHE would be available.  Hear she is very compassionate.  
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Male 21,133
spanz You should write her in prison and post her responses. 
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304

July 11-12, 2014

Overnight and into the next morning, Roy shares concerns over how his parents would handle his suicide.
Roy: "I'm just to sensitive. I want my family to know there was nothing they could do. I am entrapped in my own thoughts"
Roy: "like no I would be happy if they had no guilt about it. because I have a bad feeling tht this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents/sisters"
Roy: "i'm overthinking everything. . f**k. I gotta stop and just do it"
Carter: "I think your parents know you're in a really bad place. Im not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can accept it. They know there's nothing they can do, they've tried helping, everyone's tried. But there's a point that comes where there isn't anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself, and you've hit that point and I think your parents know you've hit that point. You said you're mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn't say anything. I think she knows it's on your mind and she's prepared for it"
Carter: Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won't be in depression I won't let that happen. They know how sad you are and they know that you're doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They'll always carry u in their hearts"

There are a ton more examples out there. This woman should spend the rest of her life in jail. What a horrible little piece of shit she is.
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Male 5,422
Seems like a good verdict to me.
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304

July 8, 2014

The next day Roy seems less resolute.
Carter: "So are you sure you don't wanna [kill yourself] tonight?"
Roy: "What do you mean am I sure?"
Carter: "Like, are you definitely not doing it tonight?"
Roy: "Idk yet I'll let you know"
Carter: "Because I'll stay up with you if you wanna do
it tonight"
Roy: " Another day wouldn't hurt"
Carter: "You can't keep pushing it off, tho, that's all you keep doing"

This girl is insane
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Male 3,808
"You're finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It's okay to be scared and it's normal. I mean, you're about to die" 

"I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you're ready __ just do it babe"

 "You can't think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don't get why you aren't."

and later...

"I was talking on the phone with him when he killed himself...I heard him die"

Guilty


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Male 4,204
She didn't just say "go kill yourself".. She literally nagged the man til he died.  Just so she could be the mourning girlfriend on facebook.

Filthy little bitch.
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Female 4,656
This little shit needs to spend the rest of her life behind bars... maybe someone will convince her to kill herself.
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Male 152
melcervini life is a bit much, a couple years and a mark on the permanent record seems more than fair
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