June 7, 2017

Free Michelle Carter.

This is a ridiculous prosecution.

97 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

This girl maxes out the hot/crazy matrix.

Rounds said...

How is this ridiculous? If a speaker can be tried for incitement to riot, even though that speaker didn't actually do any rioting, why NOT try someone for actively and persistently encouraging a suicide?

Laslo Spatula said...

"This is a ridiculous prosecution."

Disagree.

If someone encourages another to murder someone, is on the cell phone encouraging them while they commit the act, does nothing to stop it knowing it is taking place, are they not an accomplice?

Would the suicidal person be considered mentally incapacitated, and this is no different than fucking a drunk girl?

I am Laslo.



Ignorance is Bliss said...

Involuntary Manslaughter seems an odd charge. You can debate to what extent she actually influenced his decision, and how responsible that makes her. But it seems pretty clear that the result was entirely intentional on her part.

khesanh0802 said...

Tough one, but in this world we are responsible for our own actions. Hard to convince me that the girl is responsible for the boy's death. Carter might not have shown the judgement she would have if she thought things were going to go public - or perhaps she's not altogether mentally healthy herself. What teen is?

Fernandinande said...

Event was three years ago, so the persecution violates "Speedy Trial".

This is a ridiculous prosecution.

Here's a worser one: a 13 year-old being persecuted.

Don't forget! The typical prosecutor is a sadist.

Jack Wayne said...

Involuntary manslaughter is defined as "Involuntary manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or low-level felony (such as a DUI)." I don't see recklessness or criminal negligence. Nor an unlawful act. I wouldn't want such an unfeeling person as my friend but bad feelz are not a crime to me. Best outcome is if she gets off and is taught a valuable lesson.

mockturtle said...

She apparently wanted the social media attention of her 'loved one' committing suicide. Whether or not this is a prosecutable offense, she is one narcissistic and evil bitch.

AReasonableMan said...

I agree with Althouse on this one. The girl is batshit crazy and a truly appalling person but not responsible for the actions of this man. Common decency suggests she should be punished but I can't see how she broke a law.

Fernandinande said...

Mayhap I'll be persecuted for writing: "Maryclare Flynn should get in her car so as to die from CO poisoning. And what kinda silly sounding kiddie-name is 'Maryclare'?"

James Pawlak said...

If that is a valid persecution, then all Imams who preach jihad are liable to like actions.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Rounds said...

If a speaker can be tried for incitement to riot, even though that speaker didn't actually do any rioting, why NOT try someone for actively and persistently encouraging a suicide?

You can be tried for incitement to riot, because the rioting itself is a crime.

Suicide, itself, is not a crime in Massachusetts ( or most states ).
I think assisting suicide is illegal, but probably requires more than verbal encouragement, and in any case is a different crime than involuntary manslaughter.

Michael K said...

As police investigated the death, they found hundreds of text messages between Carter and Roy. In one, Carter allegedly counseled Roy on exactly how to commit suicide using carbon monoxide.

I dunno. She is a scary person if all this is true.

"Gross negligence" sounds like the reason for the "involuntary."

caplight45 said...

The girl's behavior was reprehensible. She sounds psychopathic--serial killer material.

Having said that, take this interpretation of the law and apply it to assisted suicide. I could see a prosecutor with an agenda using it against someone who facilitated a person ending their own life, in a state where such behavior is not legal. In fact, if I am not mistaken it has already been tried.

clint said...

Re: Involuntary...

I'd guess that it will be much easier to prove that all of the text messages together demonstrate reckless disregard (or something like that) than to prove voluntary manslaughter -- which I *think* would require them to show intent at the time he was killing himself, where they don't have text because it was a phone call.

Re: worser one...

At least she's only being charged with misdemeanors like "malicious use of a telecommunications service" -- which seems like a fair description of what she did. And she's being charged as a juvenile, which she is.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I had no idea that it was painful to die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

John Tuffnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

Maybe the appropriate punishment is being put through a trial, hearing the public's disgust with her, and having her name publicized forever.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

To get a full picture of her evil nature, look up the stories in the Boston Herald where her text messages are detailed. As mentioned, wanted the attention of having her "boyfriend" commit suicide, and wanted to hang out with his family afterwards to gain even more reflected attention. There is so much more to this than what CNN wants to cover. A true black, evil heart.

Birches said...

Common decency suggests she should be punished but I can't see how she broke a law.

This is right.

John Tuffnell said...

This is akin to school bullying and making a weak kid's life so miserable that he kills himself. Does MA make that a crime? The girl here is a shitbag, so the prosecution is a kind of punishment in itself and acts as the deterrent which is what the state wants. Argue all you want that is an abuse of the system - society needs this nasty bitch to suffer some abuse and to show others who would do this that it does not come without cost. Call it anti-bullying education.

The difference between the usual bullying and this situation is the active involvement while the act takes place, and allegedly talking the kid out of stopping. That's at least a contributing cause to the death.

I don't credit the claim that he would have done it anyway, so no harm no foul from her. There is a foul and there was harm.

Bob Boyd said...

I suspect Althouse found herself sympathizing with the girl's actions when she read this line in the article:

"He was wearing a blue T-shirt, shorts and sunglasses..."

Darrell said...

Let's try an experiment. Give her a phone and the phone numbers of all the Althouse Lefties and let's see what she's got.

Darrell said...

Althouse being goofy again. ARM being normal.

mockturtle said...

A public flogging would seem appropriate.

mockturtle said...

Actually, a private flogging would be better. She would relish the attention of a public one.

Rounds said...

Ignorance is Bliss -
Good point. I hadn't considered the (il)legality of the provoked action. What this pathetic woman did SHOULD be illegal, but perhaps isn't. I rarely call for more laws, but this is an example where one may be called for.

Kevin said...

She waived her right to a jury trial because it's such a ridiculous prosecution no jury would convict her. /sarcasm

I Callahan said...

There is so much more to this than what CNN wants to cover. A true black, evil heart.

I'm not making any excuses for this chick, but don't you think this is a bit hyperbolic?

We live in a time where parents don't teach kids right from wrong anymore, where entertainment is the number one priority for a very large chunk of the country. Where you're taught that you're a special little snowflake, that your self-esteem is to be artificially kept at a maximum, even if you've never accomplished a single thing in your life. In other words - we live in an age of maximum narcissism.

This girl is a direct product of that environment. No one should be surprised when stuff like this happens. To me, true evil is growing up in an environment where you're nurtured and taught right from wrong, yet still do wrong on purpose, and do it joyfully.

EDH said...

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's how not to appear in court.

And here's how the Mass SJC ruled on probable cause:

Because there was evidence that the defendant's actions overbore the victim's willpower, there was probable cause to believe that the victim's return to the truck after the defendant told him to do so was not "an independent or intervening act" that, as a matter of law, would preclude his action from being imputable to her. See Atencio, 345 Mass. at 629-630. The text messages suggest that the victim had been delaying suicide for weeks; to ignore the influence the defendant had over the victim would be to oversimplify the circumstances surrounding his death. His delay of that suicide and subsequent excuses for such delays were followed by his girl friend's disappointment, frustration, and threats to seek unwanted treatment on his behalf. In sum, we conclude that there was probable cause to show that the coercive quality of the defendant's verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the eighteen year old victim had to cope with his depression, and that but for the defendant's admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death. Consequently, the evidence before the grand jury was sufficient for a finding of probable cause that the defendant, by wanton or reckless conduct, caused the victim's death.

It is important to articulate what this case is not about. It is not about a person seeking to ameliorate the anguish of someone coping with a terminal illness and questioning the value of life. Nor is it about a person offering support, comfort, and even assistance to a mature adult who, confronted with such circumstances, has decided to end his or her life. These situations are easily distinguishable from the present case, in which the grand jury heard evidence suggesting a systematic campaign of coercion on which the virtually present defendant embarked -- captured and preserved through her text messages -- that targeted the equivocating young victim's insecurities and acted to subvert his willpower in favor of her own. On the specific facts of this case, there was sufficient evidence to support a probable cause finding that the defendant's command to the victim in the final moments of his life to follow through on his suicide attempt was a direct, causal link to his death.

JAORE said...

Free Charles Manson!

Right, Professor?

Birches said...

It is important to articulate what this case is not about. It is not about a person seeking to ameliorate the anguish of someone coping with a terminal illness and questioning the value of life. Nor is it about a person offering support, comfort, and even assistance to a mature adult who, confronted with such circumstances, has decided to end his or her life.

Lefties gotta lefty.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

to I Callahan:
I've followed this case for quite a bit, and recommend looking at the back numbers of the Boston Herald when a lot of this first came out. If you can encourage someone to act on their suicidal tendencies rather than encourage them to get help, I can't blame culture ahead of the person. We should let Einsatzgruppen members off the hook because it was the prevailing culture (yes, going Godwin here)?

Darrell said...

Is gross indifference or depraved-indifference to human life a crime in her State? She should have led him to counseling, not the Reaper.

Eleanor said...

What if a person has a potentially life-threatening illness, and another person convinces him to forego treatment that might save his life? Like "put your life in God's hands"? Is that person guilty of involuntary manslaughter? While this young woman is despicable, is she anymore guilty of encouraging someone to let an illness run its natural course than let's say Mary Baker Eddy? The boy had tried to kill himself before with an overdose. He had a mental illness, which if went untreated, was going to end in death. Unless a suicidal person has an epiphany about not wanting to die after an attempt, they try again until they succeed without some real intervention. He had people encouraging him to get treatment and someone telling him to just let go. I'm not sure we want to start criminalizing what she did. It puts a lot of people at risk for prosecution when I'm not sure it's a path we want to take.

Big Mike said...

This is a ridiculous prosecution.

Not hardly. I disagree with you, Professor, and I agree with Laslo. Let me ask you this, Althouse, would you still call this "ridiculous" if the genders were reversed and a guy talked his girlfriend into killing herself?

Rae said...

How is incitement to suicide not "hate speech" and therefore a capital offense?

I Callahan said...

We should let Einsatzgruppen members off the hook because it was the prevailing culture

Once again, I'm not excusing the behavior. But that doesn't change the fact that this stupid girl obviously has issues other than an evil, black heart. I'm sorry, but in this case, that's just too simplistic for me.

Evil is something that sets in over time, in situations that happen over and over again. Evil is the worst state of bad. If you kill someone from a fight, or because he banged your wife, you're not evil, but you're bad. If you kill people over and over again, because you enjoy it, you're evil.

This chick is too young to be evil. Bad? Maybe. Evil? That's a stretch.

eric said...

This is a child. Not an adult. And by this, I mean the boy who killed himself.

Poor kid. I mean, there is a reason we have suicide hotlines. It's because many people, especially kids, who want to kill themselves really don't. They are depressed and working through difficult issues.

And here is this chick encouraging him to kill himself? Such evil.

I hope it's a crime. And I hope she fries for it. Or at least gets locked up for the rest of her life.

M Trumble said...

The prosecution is packed with hyperbole. Carter was not Roy's "girlfriend", beyond being a text buddy who shared a desire to suicide. At the time, she was roughly as suicidal as he was and their relationship, so far as it went, was all about support for one another making the leap and following through.

Words do not kill.

For the prosecution to argue that Carter "ordered" Roy to complete his plan is patently silly. If this young woman is convicted, we may as well put the 1st amendment aside.

mockturtle said...

I Callahan posits: This chick is too young to be evil. Bad? Maybe. Evil? That's a stretch.

Sociopathy usually manifests early in life. She obviously has some kind of personality disorder that is more than just the result of sloppy parenting. And a personality disorder is not insanity.

bagoh20 said...

This was deadly, but is legal?
Making two $5000 deposits of your own money to your own bank account is not.
Through civil forfeiture the police can confiscate and keep or sell your property even if you committed no crime.

The law is a mess, and maybe the most abusive, illogical, and unfair of any of our institutions, mostly becuase it's government run, and by lawyers - the worst possible combination.

Lyle Smith said...

... but, but bullying.

bagoh20 said...

I don't see much difference between her and Charles Manson. They both planned, conspired, encouraged, and assisted murder without actually doing the deed themselves. That is if you consider suicide to be self-murder as Althouse has argued many times.

DanTheMan said...

The Manson analogy is apt.
Charge her with conspiracy to commit suicide. The little monster told him to get back in the truck, which is certainly an overt act proving active participation in the conspiracy.

Even if she gets acquitted, the state should run this monster through the wringer.
And then, the civil suit should make sure she never has a nickel to call her own.

M. Findlay said...

This is what happens when you start chipping away at freedom of speech.

Curious George said...

"eric said...
I hope it's a crime. And I hope she fries for it. Or at least gets locked up for the rest of her life."

I hate to disappoint you, but neither of those can happen.

Kevin said...

Up next, teens start texting grandma how to kill herself so they can move into her now-deserted home.

You can do it Gramdma. Grandpa told me in a dream!

Yancey Ward said...

I think from a legal standpoint, there is nothing ridiculous about the prosecution.

However, I don't think telling someone to commit a crime should be a crime itself.

mockturtle said...

Up next, teens start texting grandma how to kill herself so they can move into her now-deserted home.

You can do it Gramdma. Grandpa told me in a dream!


Kevin, this is one reason I voted against assisted suicide in WA, although it passed anyway.

Earnest Prole said...

American prosecutors will sell their souls for a high-publicity case, so you can hardly blame them for trying this one. It's the judge's duty to identify the specific law that's been broken, and if the judge fails at this task then an appeals court will (embarassingly) correct him.

Brian said...

She deserves everything coming to her, and more. This evil thing did everything she could to ensure a guy's death, for the reason of vanity; to get attention as an anti-suicide activist. She has excluded herself from humanity.

ManleyPointer said...

I have a hard time ignoring the Manson parallel. Egging someone on to do something awful is not "free speech".

On the other hand, this sad episode reminds me of a scene in the movie Stand By Me. When Chris Chambers dares Ace to murder him:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aI9-g_n_OE

Chris obviously didn't want to be murdered. He understood Ace was manipulating him, was exhausted with it & called Ace out on (what he hoped was) his bluff.

Bay Area Guy said...

I wouldn't say it's a "ridiculous" prosecution -- that's the wrong adjective, although AA is probably right on the larger point.

This girl/young woman is a little piece of shit who was not raised properly and did a bad thing -- but, it's probably not a crime.

I would say that prosecutorial discretion should have been exercised to not indict this little twit.

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't think it is a ridiculous prosecution. She might not be convicted, but her behavior was depraved in the purest sense of the word, and it is very good that it should be publicized and that she should have to deal with having it documented in the public record for the rest of her life.

There may be no duty to aid under the law in most jurisdictions, but when a person close to a person committing suicide not only fails to summon help but exerts strong persuasion to get the would be suicide to complete the act, it's rather similar to loading the gun and handing it over. Which would, in some jurisdictions, be deemed a criminal act.

Not ridiculous. At the minimum, this trial will provide warning to other people whose lives may collide with this sociopath's.

The Vault Dweller said...

What she may have done could constitute criminal harassment, but trying to prosecute her for homicide is ridiculous. I'm sure most people would look at what she did and rightly be disgusted. But that doesn't make it criminal. This might be a situation where after the state presents it's case there is a directed verdict in favor of the defendant. Absent some kind of threat or extreme duress I don't see how mere speech can be the attributed cause for a person's death. And I don't see how text messages could contain this threat or extreme duress.

Though the girl does rightly get and deserve all the public scorn she receives. She just doesn't deserve criminal punishment.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This girl maxes out the hot/crazy matrix.

Interesting that there are people out there who like barely legal potato faced little trolls with souless eyes. O_o

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Is it ridiculous? I suppose you are arguing it necessarily lacks the element of causation.

What if I told you that you could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Massachusetts for playing Russian roulette if one of the other players dies after firing a bullet into their head?

MaxedOutMama said...

Oh, and one point, which I have not seen covered - in the final act, when the decedent left the truck, and the defendant here reacted with fury and threats - the decedent was already mentally disoriented (already suffering the mental effects of carbon monoxide poisoning), and thus the defendant's ability to act and judge independently was probably impaired.

I think we all should go back and read again the very similar PA case of the frat that murdered that boy by inaction/alcohol poisoning. In arguing for this girl's release, Ann is also arguing that those frat members had no liability.

My guess is that the defendant's age and sex are distorting some judgments here. So she's a cute young thing. She also appears to have literally connived at this boy's death.

Krumhorn said...

I disagree with our hostess. While very unusual, this is a righteous prosecution. I fail to see the difference between this girl pushing a button that detonated a bomb to kill the boy and killing him through the agency of his own hand. Most of us do not doubt that Hannibal Lector killed Miggs following the jizz-tossing incident merely by hissing at him throughout the night through the jail bars and using his precocious insights into the human mind to manipulate his victim to cut off his own tongue and then choke to death while swallowing it.

Knowing that this boy had a predisposition to suicide she used her powers over him to kill him and she should not escape criminal liability for that.

- Krumhorn

AReasonableMan said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
Interesting that there are people out there who like barely legal potato faced little trolls with souless eyes


To get that high on the crazy axis you sometimes have to compromise a little on the looks. She lost weight after being charged, which I thought helped.

Gahrie said...

Of course the charges should be dropped...women must never be held accountable for their actions.

If the genders had been reversed, the man would already be serving his sentence.

Richard said...

What if I told you that you could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Massachusetts for playing Russian roulette if one of the other players dies after firing a bullet into their head?

Well that's different. It would obviously be Trump's fault! :)

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Carter was not Roy's "girlfriend"

So you wasn't even getting any. Poor guy.

Rich Rostrom said...

Callahan said... This chick is too young to be evil.

Irma Grese volunteered as a concentration camp guard in 1942. For the next three years she served at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz. She particularly enjoyed selecting prisoners for extermination. She also flogged prisoners, sometimes to death, shot them on the spot, or had them savaged by dogs.

She was executed in 1945 by the British; she was then 23 years old.

The Vault Dweller said...

"Section 43A. (a) Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment "

If the state wants to prosecute her for something do criminal harassment. The Defendant's actions certainly sound like an ongoing pattern of behavior, it seems reasonable to infer the victim felt some alarm because of the conduct since he was willing to kill himself, and a reasonable person could certainly suffer emotional distress if their friend constantly tells that person to kill themself. Certainly the girl's conduct seems malicious.

DanTheMan said...

Gahrie is 100%, of course, re: genders.

This girl is a monster.

MaxedOutMama said...

Oh, and final point, re guilt and premeditation - in one of the texts she asks the boy to confirm that he has deleted her messages. She deleted some of her incriminating messages. She expressed fears to a friend that if the police found the messages she could go to jail.

She knew what she was doing and she feared responsibility for it.

http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/474/474mass624.html

It was apparent that the defendant understood the repercussions of her role in the victim's death. Prior to his suicide, the defendant sought (apparently unsuccessfully) to have the victim delete the text messages between the two, and after learning that the police were looking through the victim's cellular telephone, the defendant sent the following text message to Boardman: "Sam, [the police] read my messages with him I'm done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail." During the investigation, and after cross-referencing the text messages in the defendant's cellular telephone and those in the victim's cellular telephone, the police discovered that the defendant had erased certain text messages between her and the victim. The defendant also lied to police about the content of her conversations with the victim. Finally, the defendant acknowledged in a text message to Boardman that she could have stopped the victim from committing suicide: "I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay, I was talking to him on the phone when he did it I coud have easily stopped him or called the police but I didn't."

Clark said...

She's clearly a terrible person. But, the only thing she seems to have done is emphatically agree with the decedent's own position on a particular matter.

FullMoon said...

M Trumble said... [hush]​[hide comment]

The prosecution is packed with hyperbole. Carter was not Roy's "girlfriend", beyond being a text buddy who shared a desire to suicide. At the time, she was roughly as suicidal as he was and their relationship, so far as it went, was all about support for one another making the leap and following through.


Kind of an entirely different situation, and easy for me to believe. Not so for other commenters who want the girl to fry, or be locked up forever.

Earnest Prole said...

The prosecution is packed with hyperbole.

Anyone who takes what a prosecutor says at face value is willfully obtuse.

I Callahan said...

My guess is that the defendant's age and sex are distorting some judgments here. So she's a cute young thing. She also appears to have literally connived at this boy's death.

You're right. There is some distortion going on. For example, you can tell who the parents are in this thread just by the emotional rhetoric - evil, deserves whatever she gets, etc. Especially if they're parents of young males...

Night Owl said...

Can you explain to laypeople why you feel this charge is ridiculous?

This is a quote from the linked article: "When Roy had second thoughts, she told him to get back in the truck and listened on the phone while he cried out in pain and took his last breaths as his pickup truck filled with the deadly gas, Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said Tuesday."

If the above quote is true, she was on the phone with Roy while he was killing himself, and did not call authorities to intervene, but instead encouraged him to stay there and die. She could have called for an ambulance for Roy. Did she?

That passage made me think of the frat boys from Penn state who were recently charged with manslaughter and other charges like reckless endangerment and hazing. They encouraged bad behavior-- the hazing-- and did not intervene until the following day to assist their seriously injured frat brother. Michelle encouraged Roy to stay in a situation that led to his death and listened to him die-- assuming the quote above can be proven to be true. To laypeople, there seems to be similar levels of culpability.

I'm open-minded on this; but in light of what was quoted above, I don't see the charge against her being that ridiculous. But I can be swayed either way. I'm not an expert on the law, so I don't know what is taken into consideration when applying a charge of involuntary manslaughter. I also don't know what the law is regarding actively encouraging someone to kill themselves. Is it illegal or not?

Night Owl said...

MaxedOutMama said:
"I think we all should go back and read again the very similar PA case of the frat that murdered that boy by inaction/alcohol poisoning. "

Yes, that is the case I was referring to in my comment above.

Your comment at 12:45 reveals info that if true is damning to Michelle. I can see why she didn't want a jury trial.

David said...

There is another Michelle Carter, 2016 Olympic gold medalist in women's shot put. I prefer to think about her.

[Michelle] Carter won the 2016 gold medal at the Rio Olympics on the last of her six throws, edging two-time defending champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand.[3] In doing so, Carter became the first United States women's athlete to win the event since the women's competition began at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, and only the second American to win any medal (Earlene Brown, bronze medal, 1960).[4]

Carter broke her own American Record with the Olympic Gold Medal winning toss of 20.63 meters or 67' 8 1/4"

She finished fifteenth at the 2008 Olympic Games and fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games.[5]

Carter won the Gold Medal at the 2016 World Indoor Championships after winning the Bronze Medal in 2012.
She won the Silver Medal at the 2001 World Youth Championships and the Gold Medal at the 2004 World Junior Championships.
In addition to winning the 2008 United States Olympic Team Trials, she was the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 National Champion.[6] While competing for the University of Texas, she won the Collegiate NCAA National Championship in 2006.
Carter is a graduate of Red Oak High School in Red Oak, Texas where she was a four time State Champion in the Shot Put. Her father, Michael Carter, is also a former Olympian and NFL star — the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl ring in the same year. Both Michelle and her father hold the current National High School Record in the shot put, the only such father-and-daughter situation. Michelle set her record in 2003 while winning the Texas state championship; her father's record has been unchallenged since 1979.


(From Wikipedia)

Kevin said...

Kevin, this is one reason I voted against assisted suicide in WA, although it passed anyway.

Agreed. I don't think the state should be involved in the dealings of people in their own lives. However, given the potential for people to be pressured to end their lives to either (a) presence resources for their heirs, or (b) save the government from having to pay for their care, I'm worried about how it might be abused.

People with less than their full faculties could be easily manipulated out of existence.

Earnest Prole said...

It’s a juvenile prosecution of the actions of a troubled seventeen-year-old, and my guess is that “Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz” isn’t up on the fine points of Massachusetts manslaughter law.

Unknown said...

So I guess we need to arrest the idiot crowds that shout "jump" to someone on a bridge...

Scott M said...

Sorry, but with eyebrows like that, she deserves whatever she gets.

donald said...

There is nowhere I go in which this person would be considered "hot" in any way.

Earnest Prole said...

The prosecutor, like James Comey, hopes he can bring down his target with vague gestures toward the general vicinity of the law.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The prosecutor, like James Comey, hopes he can bring down his target with vague gestures toward the general vicinity of the law."

-- The beauty of this comment is that you can assume it is referencing either Clinton OR Trump!

Birches said...

For example, you can tell who the parents are in this thread just by the emotional rhetoric - evil, deserves whatever she gets, etc. Especially if they're parents of young males...

I think you're right on this, though it makes me an outlier. I'm reflexively wary of the tendency to blame someone else when an unexpected death happens. It seems that parents of teenagers who commit suicide fall into this camp more often than not.

I'm also interested in M Trumble's angle that perhaps there was some co-dependency going on with the two of them and suicide.

Earnest Prole said...

The beauty of this comment is that you can assume it is referencing either Clinton OR Trump!

The real beauty of this comment is that you may assume it is referencing both.

Bob Ellison said...

Scott M, your eyebrows comment cuts deep. I really did LOL, with all caps, sincerely.

Bob Ellison said...

Birches, I'm with you on I Callahan's comment.

I have four sons and no daughters. Parents project a lot and worry a lot. We tend to want someone to blame for our sorrow, especially when we feel guilt.

Bob Ellison said...

One other angle: what if the defendant were a Muslim man, encouraging his buddy via phone to press the button on buddy's suicide vest in the shopping mall?

Not the same, but not much different.

AReasonableMan said...

Scott M said...
Sorry, but with eyebrows like that, she deserves whatever she gets.


I am sure she would pluck them for you, or at least lighten them, if you agreed to kill yourself.

Michael K said...

I would be worried if I were her parents, let alone his.

She might not want to wait for her inheritance,

Even grandparents are not safe.

He told detectives Terry “first stabbed his grandmother while she sat in her chair. He said that she did not know the attack was coming. His grandfather saw the attack on his grandmother. Chris tried to suffocate his grandfather with a pillow. In the process the grandfather’s nose was broken. His grandfather was stabbed with two knives, then Chris stomped on his chest.

I could see her there,

Guildofcannonballs said...

Just to be safe I think young men ought to be taught to see females as potentially threatening sex objects to be used and dumped, and not just by porn anymore.

Porn has been carrying the load of this weighty message, alone, for too long.

Guildofcannonballs said...

It will be absolutely ridiculous if every damn University in the country doesn't dramatically act out the death scene describe in this case with horrible screams of painful, hypnotized duress during mandatory freshman orientations.

We are leaving our boys to the deadly female species without even caring about raising awareness.

All women are potential killers and ought be warned of by taxpayer dollars at every chance available, or next time it's your fault.

MaxedOutMama said...


Earnest Prole - the Supreme Court of Massachusetts heard the appeal of the indictment and decided that probable cause was supported by the evidence found by the grand jury, and therefore the prosecution could continue. Here is their take:
http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/474/474mass624.html

Due to the evidence of the texts, phone calls, some other online communications to other friends, and the defendant's own actions, it is really not in dispute that the defendant's conduct was intentional and was wanton or reckless. The remaining legal question is causation.

Note the cites of two prior MA cases which support a finding of causation. Under MA law (which is an "old" law state, in which statutory definitions of common law crimes sometimes don't even exist, and precedent is all-important), it is not necessary to be fully responsible for the deed of suicide to be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a facilitated or participatory suicide. Both of those cases are rather disturbing also.

This does not mean that she will be found guilty by the judge. Probable cause is a quite different standard of guilt than required for a conviction. But this is a charge which is very difficult to defend in court, given the evidence presented, 90% of which was created or offered by the defendant. That is because there is a consistency in the defendant's statements and actions both before and after the suicide, that indicates a consciousness of some guilt/culpability. In other words, of the two players in this drama, the surviving one both stated and took actions (even before the death) that either explicitly state and strongly suggest that she genuinely DID believe she was a causative factor in the death to a degree that would put her in legal jeopardy. I think there is a better than 50% chance of conviction given the precedents. She won't serve much or perhaps any time for it, anyway.

That's why I don't think this is a ridiculous prosecution under Massachusetts law. Maybe Ann meant that it SHOULD be, but MA law is MA law. There doesn't seem to be any constitutional question here that I can make out. Ann might know of one, but if she does she is not explicitly stating it.

Before I read the texts, I thought the case was ridiculous also. But they were released, and although this is a very unusual set of circumstances generating an odd case, having read them I did not find this a ham sandwich type of case.

All the appeals stuff is up at Suffolk Law, if you are interested:
http://www.suffolk.edu/sjc/archive/2016/SJC_12043.html

Guildofcannonballs said...

Studies show one out of every seven males dies because of white female greed in need. Will you be, in a word are, you next?

If you can't find the studies that means they are censuring your searches and your time is not long.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Figures. She's a sociopath. If she doesn't get the slightest of slaps on the wrist for this stunt, then you'll all be scratching your heads and asses in ten years wondering how come no one caught the local neighborhood serial husband poisoner.

Earnest Prole said...

Thanks, MaxedOutMama -- very helpful. I agree the peculiarities of Massachusetts law make this case possible. The two precedents are cases where a defendant loaded and physically handed someone a gun, one in a game of Russian roulette and the other in the course of an argument where suicide was threatened. Apparently for the Massachusetts Supreme Court, sending texts is just like that.

openidname said...

Why ridiculous?

She caused the death of a human being with the intent to do so. (Yes, I understand she's being prosecuted for invol, not first degree murder, but that's a lesser included - and a cop-out.)

The only issues are:

(1) Freedom of speech: No, not when she has the intent imminently to cause death.

(2) Causation: Hell, no, not when he got out of the car and she told him to get back in.

mockturtle said...

TR asserts: Figures. She's a sociopath. If she doesn't get the slightest of slaps on the wrist for this stunt, then you'll all be scratching your heads and asses in ten years wondering how come no one caught the local neighborhood serial husband poisoner.

Yep. This gal is dangerous, for sure.