A Massachusetts case has potential to set groundbreaking new precedence in the world of text messaging. A minor by the name of Michelle Carter is on trial to determine if she’s responsible for the murder of ex-boyfriend Conrad Roy III, though she didn’t actually murder anyone.
Instead, she had allegedly urged her ex to do the deed after he had expressed interest in doing so. According to testimonies and digital evidence, Roy was already a suicide risk on his own due to the mounting depression from life hardships such as losing his parents.
But on the evening he actually tried it — method of choice being inhalation of his Ford F-250’s gas — he apparently contacted the ex-girlfriend to let her know how scared he was because it was actually working.
According to a text message she sent to another friend about the ordeal, she told Roy to get back into the car and finish. The girlfriend had also been pressuring him to do it leading up to the day in question through several text messages “encouraging” him on his path.
So, this is a pretty unique case. While she didn’t actually kill anybody, she used persuasion and words to drive someone to do it to themselves. Can that be considered murder? That’s the question this trial will answer.
My take on it? Obviously, the girl was not helping and was in the wrong. I could see a scenario where her insistence is an honest attempt to help someone she does or once had feelings for end their internal suffering. But even if that’s the case, it’s still wrong. I just don’t know if she can be considered a murderer, because all she did at the end of the day was exercise her right to free speech. What do you think?