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Massachusetts Supreme Court To Hear Michelle Carter's Appeal To Overturn Manslaughter Conviction

Last year, Michelle Carter was convicted of manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend Conrad Roy to kill himself in 2014.

By Gina Tron
The Michelle Carter Case, Explained

Could Michelle Carter get her conviction overturned?

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed on Wednesday to hear her appeal, according to Mass Live. Last year, Carter was convicted of manslaughter for encouraging Conrad Roy III, her then-boyfriend, to commit suicide. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

In February, Carter's defense team wrote in their application for the appeal, "Carter is the first defendant to have been convicted of killing a person who took his own life, even though she neither provided the fatal means nor was present when the suicide occurred. Nothing in Massachusetts law made clear to 17-year-old Carter, or anyone else, that such circumstances could constitute involuntary manslaughter."

Carter was 17 when she encouraged Roy, 18, to end his life. Roy sat in his pickup in July 2014, filling his truck with carbon monoxide in a suicide attempt. Having second thoughts, he left the truck, and Carter told him to ‘‘get back in.’’

“You can’t think about it,” Carter wrote in one of the text messages to Roy. “You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.”

Crater’s appeal questions if the evidence presented at her trial actually proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Carter was liable for failing to stop her boyfriend from ending his life, The Boston Globe reported.

A psychiatrist who testified for the defense during Carter’s trial said that Roy wasn’t the only one in their relationship who was troubled. He claimed Carter genuinely thought she was helping Roy by encouraging him to end his life. She was on medication for her own issues at the time and suffered suicidal thoughts, the psychiatrist testified. The prosecution accused Carter of wanting the sympathy and attention that came with being the ‘‘grieving girlfriend.’’ They stated that texts to friends demonstrated that she wanted to become famous for her boyfriend’s suicide. 

[Photo: Getty]

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