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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Michelle Carter's Appeal In Suicide Texting Case
Michelle Carter's manslaughter conviction in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, will stand after the court's decision.
The Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal by Michelle Carter in her infamous suicide texting case, letting her manslaughter conviction stand.
Carter is currently serving a 15-month sentence after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III. A judge determined that Carter, who was 17 at the time, was culpable in the 18-year-old Roy's suicide after she encouraged him over texts to kill himself and in a phone call to get back in his carbon monoxide-filled truck that he’d parked in a Kmart parking lot the night he died.
The phone call wasn’t recorded, but the judge relied on a text Carter sent her friend in which she said she told Roy to get back in. In text messages sent in the days leading up to Roy’s death, Carter also encouraged Roy to follow through with his suicide plan and chastised him when he expressed hesitation, courts in Massachusetts found.
Carter’s case has garnered national attention and sparked controversial legislative proposals in Massachusetts to criminalize suicide coercion. Carter’s lawyers have long been trying to appeal her conviction, claiming it violated both her First Amendment right to free speech and her Fifth Amendment right to due process. The Supreme court has now ultimately declined to decide whether her involuntary manslaughter conviction violated her constitutional rights.
Late last year, a parole board also had bad news for Carter. They decided not to not give Carter parole, citing in their decision that “she actively prevented others from intervening in his suicide. Ms. Carter's self-serving statements and behavior, leading up to and after his suicide, appear to be irrational and lacked sincerity."
Massachusetts' highest court also upheld Carter's conviction after an appeal last year.
The controversial case got renewed attention after "I Love You, Now Die," a documentary directed by Erin Lee Carr, was released last year.
Carter is due to be out of prison in March. She is getting released early on good behavior despite not making parole.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.