Michelle Carter, who was 17 when she encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy to kill himself, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 15 months in prison. The verdict and sentencing in the 2017 case continues to set off debates among true crime fans.
Is it a dangerous legal precedent to convict someone based on words alone? Is 15 months in prison a long enough sentence considering that the detectives on the case have said if it weren't for Michelle Carter, Conrad Roy would be alive today?
Oxygen's true crime podcast Martinis & Murder asked for the expert opinion of former prosecutor Nancy Grace, who stars in "Injustice with Nancy Grace" on Oxygen Saturdays at 6/5c.
"I do not think the sentence was harsh enough," Grace told hosts John Thrasher and Daryn Carp. "And I am pretty sure Conrad Roy’s family agrees with me. He was extremely young. Eighteen, extremely sensitive, very not self assured. And, he fell hard for this girl."
Added Grace: "15 months? Are you kidding me?"
When asked for her opinion on what she thought would be an adequate sentencing for Carter, Grace was not shy to say Carter deserved a much longer sentence.
"Well since it wasn’t down right murder and she didn’t do the deed with her own hand, I would say 20 would have been fair," said Grace. "Years." Michelle Carter initially did face 20 years in prison.
Grace doubled down on the idea that Michelle Carter knew what she was doing when sending texts encouraging Conrad Roy to kill himself. "But for Michelle Carter, Conrad Roy would be alive today," Grace said. "She played him like a fiddle.”
Martinis & Murder host Carp posed the question of whether Carter's case crosses any lines as it pertains to free speech. "That's for a jury to decide, little lady," replied Grace, bantering with Carp.
Grace continued, saying, "The jury in this country is the sole judge of the facts and the law. They decide that. And I think this was completely acceptable to be prosecuted, although, I think it should have been prosecuted at a higher degree."
Listen to the episode of Martinis & Murder featuring Nancy Grace in its entirety here. Be sure to subscribe to Martinis & Murder now with new episodes and interviews with some of the biggest names in true crime.
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