June 17, 2017

"It’s wrong to deny compassion to someone so troubled that they’d attempt suicide, but we can’t move so far in the other direction..."

"... that we race to find who’s 'really' to blame when a person voluntarily takes their own life. It’s still an act of self-murder, and while Carter undoubtedly played a persuasive role, I can’t imagine where we will draw the line.... [T]he law can’t and shouldn’t try to right every wrong. Michelle Carter should go free."

Writes David French.

I have 5 observations:

1. Where do we draw the line at making arguments that the law can't do something because where would we draw the line?

2. Isn't it odd that in one day we see a young woman convicted for expressing herself in words alone, with no physical actions, and an old man let off the hook* where there was physical action but incompletely understood expression? It shows we care about the mind, and yet, legally, we probably also believe that no one should be punished for their thoughts, even when the thoughts are openly expressed.

3. Why couldn't Michelle Carter's crime be understood as abetting the self-murder committed by Conrad Roy or a conspiracy with Roy to murder Roy? That would make sense to me. But we don't usually want to think about suicide as self-murder, since we feel sorry for the victim. One answer is: There's no statute making suicide a crime. But up until fairly recently, there was statutory law making suicide a felony in the United States.

4. In recent decades, there has been some evolution toward making it legal to assist in a suicide, but in the U.S., this is only for medical professionals helping somebody who's dying. But I've seen cases outside of the United States where physicians have performed euthanasia on individuals who are severely depressed and want to die. That is, they are suicidal. In Belgium, this might be considered enlightened and respectful of individual autonomy. I don't like that, but what if a person is close to a someone who is suicidal and comes to believe that they genuinely want to die and is convinced it's their choice and offers moral support and encouragement? You don't need to agree with the autonomy idea to want to refrain from criminally punishing somebody like Michelle Carter who speaks in accordance with that idea.

5. There's too much danger of selective prosecution, going after the people who seem awful, and too much power put in the hands of suicidal people to wreak harm on others, finally going through with a suicide after someone who's making them angry lets slip with some text daring them to stop talking about it and do it already.

___________________

* [ADDED] I'm seeing the news that prosecutors say they will retry Bill Cosby.

182 comments:

Michael K said...

In the Netherlands a few years ago, when I last checked, a person with COPD who came to an emergency room needing a ventilator for treatment of respiratory insufficiency was given a lethal injection of morphine.

An ER doc who admitted a COPD patient to ICU lost his/her job.

No consent, no depression, just euthanasia with less consideration than I would give my dog,

Ann Althouse said...

Terrible!

JimT said...

When someone is standing on a ledge and the onlookers shout, "Jump!" we condemn them, but we don't arrest them and try them. Being a complete (insert term of opprobrium) is not murder, or even involuntary manslaughter. The judge is a ass.

tim maguire said...

As I said in the other thread, words compel action only in the world of magic.

Absent magic, we only hold people responsible for encouraging illegal action if they are in a position of authority (mob boss ordering underling to do a hit, CEO ordering underling to ignore safety precautions). This woman obviously does not fit in that category. Roy and only Roy made this choice. Roy and only Roy took this action.

Carter's civil rights have been violated by this unjust prosecution. Hopefully after she is exonerated, she can get her life back.

Humperdink said...

* "[ADDED] I'm seeing the news that prosecutors say they will retry Bill Cosby."

Isn't that a conditioned response from the DA? A few weeks down the road and I suspect he will re-think that position.

Birkel said...

Prosecutors spend as much of other people's money as they like. Onward to that windmill.

Breezy said...

Shouldn't parents expect that drug pushers be punished? I see this in the same vein - evil person attacking a vulnerable child.

Nancy Reyes said...

Depression is a treatable illness. People who are depressed do not think normally so their suicide is not "logical".

In the push to normalize suicide, our teens are being sold it in the media (13 reasons why, me before you, the whale game). One must ask "why".

In the meanwhile, we shut down mental hospitals in the name of "freedom" for the patients rights, we demonize prozac and other psychiatric medicines in the blogosphere because although it increases impulsivity but lowers the suicide rate, and don't eve try to mention that shock therapy is a valuable way to treat severe depression in selected patients with resistant depression.

The fact that this girl encouraged his suicide instead of going to an adult for help makes her guilty in conspiracy to take his life.

and don't get me started on how many old people will be killed by "compassionate" doctors once suicide makes killing the sick a regular "treatment"... And I am not joking when I say "women and minorities" will be the main victims.

Jupiter said...

Tough cases make bad law.

I think the larger issue here, is that the omnipresence of recording devices is altering a fundamental assumption of the law. It used to be much harder to detect and prove violations of the law. It therefore made sense for the law to err on the draconian side, so as to achieve deterrence even with a low probability of detection. But if telling someone to drop dead is a felony, then most of us are felons.

Etienne said...

I don't know that everyone has a grand jury. I suspect that those places that don't, are basically politically motivated.

The bad thing about most District of Attorneys offices, is they have unlimited budgets.

It's up to the Grand Jury to throttle their prosecution abuses.

I think if doctor says the cause of death is a suicide, that no one can later come along and call it a homicide.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Terrible!"

Oh, bilge. Insert your own painfully obvious reference to the activities of Planned Parenthood, also known as "A Woman's Right to Choose". See? You meant "Wonderful!".

Meade said...

"FORD TO NYC: 'DROP DEAD'"

Good thing for Gerald Ford no one in New York committed suicide in the days following.

M Jordan said...

I quit reading as soon as I saw the name David French.

The Godfather said...

Althouse says that suicide used to be a crime, but now isn't. I didn't know about that change in law, so thank you. I assume that wise legislators determined that no deterrent purpose would be served by criminalizing suicide when, in effect, all you could punish would be unsuccessful suicide attempts. However, that reasoning doesn't apply to someone who encourages another to commit suicide. The law can deter people from encouraging others to commit suicide by criminalizing their conduct.

Does the law in Massachusetts prohibit what this defendant did? Most dramatically, when her "boyfriend" exited his car as it filled up with CO, and she urged him to get back in the car and die, did she commit a crime under Mass. law? (It seems to me that the urging was the relevant action, and she would have been just as wrong if he had rejected her demands and lived.) The trial judge thought her actions constituted a crime under state law. My speculation is that an appellate court is going to disagree. But my intuitive moral sense tells me that this young woman did something profoundly wrong and should be punished. And for the protection of others, she should be removed from society for a lengthy period of time.

Fen said...

Can someone clue me in on *involuntary* manslaughter? She did not *accidentally* kill him.

Sorry if that's dense, I'm out of coffee and the basement redhead has been rattling her chains for hours. Thanks.

Earnest Prole said...

Most of what is morally abhorrent is not illegal, nor should it be. If it were the population within our jails would approach the population without.

MayBee said...

This started with prosecuting the roommate of the Rutgers student who threw himself off the bridge.

rhhardin said...

The possibility of suicide is proof of man's freedom, for a lot of authors.

It's droll that they ever made it a crime.

Etienne said...

That guy they brought back from North Korea is basically brain dead.

They will force him to die naturally, but all that is left is the brainstem, and he will basically just go on for years with an erection and a feeding tube.

You wouldn't do that to a pet you loved.

If you off a brain dead human, they call it a homicide. It all comes from the fact that cities and states have an unlimited budget.

Lydia said...

Sounds convincing to me:

Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz's decision Friday focused on what happened when Roy had second thoughts about suicide and got out of the vehicle. Moniz ruled that Carter caused Roy's death when she ordered him to get back into his truck as it filled up with carbon monoxide.

"The Commonwealth has proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Moniz said, "that Ms. Carter's actions, and also her failure to act where she had a self-created duty to Mr. Roy since she had put him into that toxic environment, constituted each and all wanton and reckless conduct."

The judge also said Carter had the opportunity to rescue Roy by calling for help, but that she listened instead to him coughing as the carbon monoxide from the loud motor poisoned him.


He cited some Massachusetts precedent:

Though there are no state laws criminalizing the encouragement of suicide or stating the duty to report, the judge based his decision on two cases — the first from 1816.

An inmate in a Northampton jail was charged with murder for convincing a fellow inmate who was facing the death penalty to hang himself before the government could execute him.

Boston University law professor David Rossman says that case is relevant today.

"The jury found that the prisoner who hung himself would not have done so at that time had it not been for the messages that were sent by the first prisoner," Rossman says.

"That's a precedent for the application of the idea that the Commonwealth has always considered it to be homicide for one person to convince another person and to be the moving party in convincing the other person to commit suicide."

Judge Moniz also cited the case of the Commonwealth v. Levesque. It's the case of a homeless couple charged with involuntary manslaughter after they failed to report a fire they accidentally caused in a Worcester warehouse in 1999. Six firefighters were trapped and died as they searched for people inside.

The state's highest court ruled that when a person puts another person in a position of danger, they create for themself a duty to rescue or safeguard that person from the danger.

tim maguire said...

Breezy said...
Shouldn't parents expect that drug pushers be punished?


Drug pushers aren't punished for encouraging drug use, they are punished for selling drugs.

rhhardin said...

An ER doc who admitted a COPD patient to ICU lost his/her job.

Ghost Town (2008)

There are subtle variations in even the simplest surgical...

What would a subtle variation be in my case, for example?

- Well, one doesn't wish to use jargon.
- No.

- But, you know, technically...
- Yep.

...medically, it's beginning...

Okay. Yeah.

- You died.
- I died?

- Little bit.
- For how long?

- Seven minutes.
- A bit less.

I died for seven minutes.

- A bit less.
- Approximately seven...

That's really the only thing that I can think of...

How did I die?

For the record, we did not recommend that you use the general anesthesia. When you use anesthesia, there is a chance, although it is small, of a biochemical anomaly.

Where's the anesthesiologist? I want to see him now.

He does not work here anymore. You'll be happy to know that at Saint Victor's, we have a very strict three-strikes policy.

My anesthesiologist had two strikes?

Okay, let's all calm down.

Let's just not overdramatize the situation.

Why is he calming down?

Everybody dies.

Jupiter said...

"This started with prosecuting the roommate of the Rutgers student who threw himself off the bridge."

No, the Rutgers student was a homosexual, so that was a thought crime. But in this case, they have somehow screwed things up so badly that they convicted a *woman* for causing the death of a *man*. That's not how it's supposed to work at all.

Kevin said...

Ford never said those words.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2006/12/28/nyregion/28veto.html

Leora said...

I believe that Massachusetts is a state where there is a duty to rescue people at risk. The girl could have called 911 or the boy's parents to prevent the suicide and she did not. I believe that's where the involuntary manslaughter charge comes from.

Bad Lieutenant said...

() But my intuitive moral sense tells me that this young woman did something profoundly wrong and should be punished.

One look at her rat-fox countenance tells me she should be punished. That face! Look at that face! Even if she gets off on appeal, at least let her do *some* time, let her take what punishment she can out of the process.

If she walks, no comeuppance, she'll kill again. I bet you a shiny penny.


() said...
Most of what is morally abhorrent is not illegal, nor should it be. If it were the population within our jails would approach the population without.
6/17/17, 4:33 PM

Well, if we could just kill some of them, that would help.


()...when onlookers shout, "Jump!" we condemn them, but we don't arrest them and try them.

Maybe we should. Alternately, a few grenades in the crowd.

Kevin said...

"When someone is standing on a ledge and the onlookers shout, "Jump!" we condemn them, but we don't arrest them and try them."

Onlookers are not known to the jumper, don't hold moral sway over them, don't help them plan the jump, and don't push them back on the bridge when they've climbed down.

Bad Lieutenant said...


()You wouldn't do that to a pet you loved.

I sure-shit wouldn't let a beloved pet go to North Korea! Find and arrest/JDAM that!



Fen,

Better get the redhead some coffee.

tim maguire said...

Lydia, thanks for that excerpt. It's an interesting insight into how some people think. But there are obvious problems with both cases.

In the first, the problem was not incitement to suicide, exactly. To put that case in context, it's important to remember that the prisoner was condemned to death, the punishment for his crime is hanging by the state. The state had a right under the law to his life. Technically, by committing suicide, he escaped punishment. The second prisoner did not encourage his suicide so much as he participated in a conspiracy to deprive the state its right to carry out the punishment.

In the second case, a couple started a fire and then did not report it. The firefighters may have survived the blaze if it had been caught earlier. So there is a causative action that has no parallel in Carter's case.

Once written, twice... said...

You are being inconsistent here Ann. Words have meaning. You have long stated that killing oneself is "self-murder." If you believe that is how we should define suicide then I don't know how you can avoid defining someone who actively encourages someone to commit self-murder as an assessory to the crime.

Yesterday, many people made the comparison to Charlie Manson, who did not physically murder anyone but instead brainwashed others to do so.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, are there any implications in defining suicide as "self-murder" rather than just killing oneself? If not, then why make the distinction?

Once written, twice... said...

Given that in Massachusetts killing oneself is not classified as self-murder (as Ann would like) then I do suspect this young woman's conviction will be overturned on appeal.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

"An ER doc who admitted a COPD patient to ICU lost his/her job."

I'd like to see some more information from Michael K before I buy this Dutch automatic euthanasia idea.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/03/04/22345.aspx

mockturtle said...

Any person who really wants to kill himself will find a way. I'm not referring to someone too incapacitated to do so. Mr. Roy had 'tried' to commit suicide once before and called for help. The fact that he was communicating with someone during this attempt leads to me believe he was at least ambivalent about it. In fact, he even expressed that he was 'freaking out' about doing it and she told him to 'f---ing get back in the car and do it'. How callous can one get? During the trial, the only time she showed any sorrow was when she was convicted.

That said, she probably doesn't deserve more than a year or two in prison. But I wouldn't want to associate with anyone like that and acquaintances should be very wary.

Once written, twice... said...


It seems that Ann does not understand that classifying a killing as being "murder" only makes sense within the framework of a human legal system. Within the state of nature there is no concept of murder. You would never say an animal murdered another animal or even a human being.

Once written, twice... said...

For some reason Ann wants to define suicide as "self-murder" but she does not want to face the implications of doing so.

mockturtle said...

If you off a brain dead human, they call it a homicide. It all comes from the fact that cities and states have an unlimited budget.

Not so, Etienne. Family can have life support--including tube feeding--discontinued on someone who is brain dead.

Saint Croix said...

If you off a brain dead human, they call it a homicide

Nobody does. Brain death is the standard of death in all 50 states. That's why there are no heart transplant surgeons sitting in prison for taking out a beating heart.

Try again.

Jupiter said...

"It seems that Ann does not understand that classifying a killing as being "murder" only makes sense within the framework of a human legal system."

I suspect that Althouse has at least a dim conception of how that all works. She used to hang around with a bunch of law students at her day job, she probably picked up some of the lingo.

Brian Balster said...

"she told him to 'f---ing get back in the car and do it'. How callous can one get?"

you people all seem to be glossing over the fact that she's HOT.
It's not like she was some plain, homely chick.

Saint Croix said...

Ghost Town (2008)

hands down the best ghost movie ever

by a long shot

so funny

Ann Althouse said...

"You are being inconsistent here Ann. Words have meaning. You have long stated that killing oneself is "self-murder." If you believe that is how we should define suicide then I don't know how you can avoid defining someone who actively encourages someone to commit self-murder as an assessory to the crime."

Did you read #3?

There needs to be a statute that makes suicide a crime, and then Carter would have to have been charged with the crime of abetting that crime.

I'm not inconsistent at all. I think you either didn't read the post or don't understand some basics about criminal procedure and due process.

It's like saying abortion is murder, morally, when you know the is no statute that makes it legally prosecutable.

Bob Ellison said...

With suicide, we tend to deviate from the moral into the purely logistical analysis.

Suicide seems immoral, but when we analyze it logistically, it seems like something that could be OK. When you view it as a libertarian, it seems like something nobody but the suicidal person should have any say on. Everyone should be responsible for his/her own will to live.

The moral analysis says we should not attempt, we should not help, we should look for reasons underlying, we should and must try to keep this from happening. We must try to help people who are suicidal. Their reasons might not be sufficient.

That's what drives this conviction. The reasons for this suicide seemed insufficient, even by the horrible BeNeLux standards. We don't want this to happen or even be possible, because we perceive it to be immoral.

FullMoon said...

The guy was miserable all of the time. Depressed, sad, no joy in his life at all.

No hope in the future as far as he could see. Doom, gloom, and sorrow every second of every minute, every minute of the hour, every hour of the day..

His problems are all over now, he is no longer suffering.

CStanley said...

I'm conflicted about the legal ruling, but I'm dead certain that what this girl did was evil. When I first heard the story I kept thinking I was misreading something because I couldn't even fathom why she wrote the texts that she did.

And I think people who consider suicide "self murder" are applying agency to a person who has a physiological illness that prevents them from having agency. Whether we do it through the he legal system or just through a societal moral framework, I hope that people vulnerable to suicide can be treated with more compassion and less judgment.

Once written, twice... said...

"I suspect that Althouse has at least a dim conception of how that all works. She used to hang around with a bunch of law students at her day job, she probably picked up some of the lingo."

She often doesn't show it. If I was a sexist pig I would say she is being very "womanly" here. She wants to go to the bother to defining suicide as being "self-murder" rather than just killing oneself, but she doesn't want there to be any substantive distinctions in doing so.

Once written, twice... said...

Well Ann, then I agree. In Massachusetts suicide is not legal classified as being self-murder, so I think the case against this woman doesn't make a lot of sense.

But you would agree that if there was still a law on the books in Massachusetts, then it would have been reasonable to charge her with a crime?

Saint Croix said...

Doctor drugs her coffee and then stabs her with poison.

Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Regional Review Committee, which considered the case, said: "I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future."

I'm so glad the socialists are on this and this sort of murder won't happen in Dutch hospitals anymore. I hope you learned your lesson, naughty doc! More clarity! Maybe we'll have you fill out the forms in triplicate next time.

And these idiots wonder why they have a Sharia problem.

Once written, twice... said...

Saying "abortion is murder" also creates the moral imperative for some people to go out and execute doctors. Once again, words have meaning.

CStanley said...

But we don't usually want to think about suicide as self-murder, since we feel sorry for the victim

I'm sure sympathy plays a role but it's really not the point. The severely depressed person has a brain illness that disrupts the normal will to live. Blaming that person (or failing to understand the need for other people to attempt to help and certainly to avoid provoking a suicial act) would be like blaming a person with a brain tumor for the shutting down of bodily functions that might bring on his death.

Once written, twice... said...

So, Ann's point is that there is a misapplication of the law here because Massachusetts law does not actually define suicide as self-murder, but if it did then this prosecution would have been fine.

Ann, why didn't you just write that?

Saint Croix said...

Saying "abortion is murder" also creates the moral imperative for some people to go out and execute doctors.

Your sense of moral imperatives are seriously out of whack.

Christ tells us not to kill anyone.

Slavery and infanticide were very common 2000 years ago. And yet neither the Jews nor the Christians felt any so-called "moral imperative" to start murdering Roman soldiers.

But you reason with violence and so it makes sense to you.

Bob Ellison said...

It has been argued (he wrote, carefully, in passive voice) that we could reduce the crime rate hugely simply by locking up every American male showing violent tendencies by age 13 or so, until they turn 30, when the testosterone level simmers down.

What if we locked up teen girls who turned out to be bitches at 13? It's not difficult to identify them. Just ask their classmates.

Saint Croix said...

Technically Moses did kill a Roman soldier.

But the theological point (I think) was that this was a bad action and not right with God.

Saint Croix said...

His problems are all over now, he is no longer suffering.

I think he left a lot of suffering in his wake.

Did you notice?

Gahrie said...

Does anybody not think that if the genders were reversed the guy would already be doing twenty to life?

gadfly said...

This case has to retried since the judge ignored Michelle Carter's psychiatrist who testified that she was in a drunken state caused by her anti-depressant Celex - a dangerous mind-warping drug that falls under the category of SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

Celex (generic: Citapram) according to Mayo, has side effects that include suicidal tendencies, exacerbation of depression, confusion, lack of concentration, lack of emotion, loss of memory, anorexia, and behavior similar to drunkenness. Then there is the big list of drug-induced killings that relate back to SSRIs - starting with Adam Lanza who killed 20 in Newtown, CT. He had also been taking Celex. And the beat goes on - starting with Eric Harris, Columbine, James Holmes, Aurora, Jose Reyes, Sparks, NV, Aaron Alexis, Navy Yard shooter and from Mother Jones comes the stat that SSRI-hyped shooters were involved in 64% of the 64 mass-killing events between 1982 and 2012. The most famous SSRI shooter was none other than John Hinkley.

Gahrie said...

Carter's civil rights have been violated by this unjust prosecution. Hopefully after she is exonerated, she can get her life back.

free Charles Manson!!!

mockturtle said...

Brian insists: you people all seem to be glossing over the fact that she's HOT.
It's not like she was some plain, homely chick.


She has a pretty mouth and nose but her eyebrows are most peculiar.

Gahrie said...

Tough cases make bad law.

If you look at Massachusetts precedents, it's actually a pretty easy case.

James K said...

Technically Moses did kill a Roman soldier.

You meant Egyptian, presumably? And I think God was ok with it.

mockturtle said...

Saint Croix observes:

Technically Moses did kill a Roman soldier.

But the theological point (I think) was that this was a bad action and not right with God.


David effectively murdered Uriah by sending him to the front lines of the battle so he could marry his wife, Bathsheba.

Thou shalt not kill is rightly translated as thou shalt not murder.

Gahrie said...

It's like saying abortion is murder, morally, when you know the is no statute that makes it legally prosecutable.

Anymore. There sure as hell used to be.

FullMoon said...

Saint Croix said...

His problems are all over now, he is no longer suffering.

I think he left a lot of suffering in his wake.

Did you notice?
6/17/17, 5:56 PM


Somewhere in the grief is that little bit of relief that his suffering is over. Guess you cannot imagine it.

Achilles said...

We are all going to regret prosecutors finding a new way to put people in jail.

Achilles said...

Blogger Once written, twice... said...
"Saying "abortion is murder" also creates the moral imperative for some people to go out and execute doctors. Once again, words have meaning."

Leftists are constantly finding the most violent action to get their way.

True christians don't think like leftists. That is why the very small number of attacks are immediately condemned by the overwhelming majority of pro life people as opposed to the constant justifications leftists make for leftist violence.

Fen said...

I'm still in agreement with point #4. They were both suicidal. Their friendship was based on that mutual yearning. She tried to talk him out of it for a month (so not a sociopath), until she eventually came around to supporting his quest.

Where you see bullying, I see a friend keeping her promise to be a hard ass in case he got cold feet again. He WANTED to end his misery. And I think he WANTED her to push him back into that truck. Else, why text her and tell her he had lost his nerve? It still doesn't make sense to me.

And I'm still looking for his last text to her, the one she responded "get back in" to. It's conspicuously absent from 4 articles I've read. And it doesn't make sense the media would report his last actions, her last text BUT not his last text. Maybe it's out there and I just overlooked it. Has anyone seen it?

Because if he said "I changed my mind, I don't want to die" that's one thing.

But if he said "I changed my mind, this hurts too much, let's look at pills instead" then her "get back in" is closer to "you're almost there, just hang on".

Saint Croix said...

It's like saying abortion is murder, morally, when you know the is no statute that makes it legally prosecutable.

One could fairly, rightly and justly rule that birth happens when the baby's head (or feet) starts to appear.

After all, Justice Blackmun and the rest of the Supreme Court said that the partial-birth abortion statute in Texas (making it a crime punishable by life in prison) was not at issue in the case.

It's right there in footnote one.

Article 1195, not attacked here, reads:

"Art. 1195. Destroying unborn child

"Whoever shall during parturition of the mother destroy the vitality or life in a child in a state of being born and before actual birth, which child would otherwise have been born alive, shall be confined in the penitentiary for life or for not less than five years."


Thus according to Roe v. Wade, an abortion doctor could have been punished with life in prison for performing a partial-birth abortion.

True, the Texas statute distinguishes "a state of being born" as being before "actual birth." But that's rather similar to the notorious "one drop" rule in racial cases. As long as one part of the baby's body is within the birth canal, she is dehumanized. But what if you were to say, as long as one part of the baby's body is outside the birth canal, she is a citizen of the United States?

A pro-lifer could have said that, with absolute justification, since Roe itself says these criminal laws are not implicated in its opinion.

See also the murders committed by Kermit Gosnell in the course of doing business in his abortion clinic. He thought he was aborting fetuses. Turns out he was murdering babies. Because the born/unborn rule is so harsh, and even abortion doctors are not allowed to violate it.

I agree, by the way, that nobody could be prosecuted retroactively for performing an abortion of an unborn child when it was legal to do so. The ex post facto clause forbids retroactive criminal punishments. (That's why slave-owners did not go to prison for atrocities after the Civil War, our Constitution forbids retroactive crimes).

Saint Croix said...

Somewhere in the grief is that little bit of relief that his suffering is over. Guess you cannot imagine it.

Can you imagine a guy who jumps off a bridge and regrets it while he's on the way down?

Keep up with your ESP with the dead, you're doing great.

Fen said...

It's just suspicious that I can't find his last text. Like something is being hidden because it conflicts with a narrative.

And who calls a bully after escaping their murder-trap?

"Yes, hi Bluto. Yes that was a great mind fuck and you really dominated me to the point I was going to obey your commands to take my own life. But I wriggled out in the nick of time. Would you like to play again?"

Just doesn't follow. I think it more likely:

"Babe I lost my nerve. It hurts. I'm calling cause I need you to talk me through it. I'm sorry, I'm such a chicken shit"

Fen said...

"Depression is treatable"

But not curable.

I've suffered moderate depression (not suicidal), and the treatment simply equalizes your peaks and valleys, you exist in a fugue state - no pain, but no joy either. Everything is gray shadowed, even the sun. Everything tastes bland. There is no purpose or meaning.

I eventually ditched the meds because I wanted pain/joy. A moment of bliss is worth a week of hurt.

Granted, clinical depression SHOULD be managed somehow, it's hardly ever worth losing life. But let's not call it "treatable" as if it makes living normal again. It doesnt.

traditionalguy said...

Orwellian insight would say that the state must act to maintain its crony monopoly on doing murder. She was at the least guilty of impersonating a police officer , who has the sole legal power to kill. All the others are competition. Think of it as a guild protecting its turf from amateurs.

FullMoon said...

Somewhere in the grief is that little bit of relief that his suffering is over. Guess you cannot imagine it.

Can you imagine a guy who jumps off a bridge and regrets it while he's on the way down?

Keep up with your ESP with the dead, you're doing great.

6/17/17, 6:30 PM


Stupid retort from a seemingly intelligent person. Yes, I can imagine that, easily. So what?

Fen said...

Yah that's counter-intuitive too. Like thinking a "gun free zone" sign is going to deter a mess shooter who intends to commit multiple felonies.

"Suicide is illegal? LOL what are you going to do, kill me? Get in line"

Lydia said...

And I'm still looking for his last text to her, the one she responded "get back in" to. It's conspicuously absent from 4 articles I've read. And it doesn't make sense the media would report his last actions, her last text BUT not his last text. Maybe it's out there and I just overlooked it. Has anyone seen it?

That "get back in" wasn't a text message to him; she was actually talking on the phone with him, according to texts she sent to friends:

...texts read during Carter’s trial showed she admitted some guilt.

“It’s my fault,” Carter texted to her school friend, Samantha Boardman, two months after Roy’s death. “I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car.”

Two other friends said Carter had texted them stating she was on the phone with Roy as he died.

“I was talking on the phone with him when he killed himself... I heard him die,” Carter texted to another friend, Olivia Mosolgo, days after Roy’s death, Mosolgo testified.

Fen said...

Fullmoon is right. We've all had to do things we regretted the whole way down. Doesn't mean it wasn't the right call.

How many of us pulled the lever for Trump, regretting it wasn't Cruz or Walker, but knowing were making the best of a bad situation.

My father's law partner shot himself. Had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Had just watched his best friend, my father, suffer through 6 months of the same thing. Even spoke at his funeral. But getting a preview of what it the cancer did to my dad and my family, he decided not to put his loved ones through all that. I'm sure he had regrets while he was loading and chambering the round. Probably why he had a bottle of Scotch with him.

Fen said...

Thanks Lydia, my mistake. Have you found any reports of what he actually said to her?

Kevin said...

I apologize for the long post, but I don't think many people have actually read the texts and statements which were at the heart of the case.

"But prosecutors said Carter played a significant coercive role in the teenager’s suicide. In one texting conversation, she consoled Roy that his family would come to “accept” his suicide, later adding, “Tonight is the night. It’s now or never.”

Carter: I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. I’m not saying they want you to do it but I honestly feel like they can accept it.

They know there is nothing they can do. They’ve tried helping. Everyone’s tried, but there is a point that comes where there isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself.

And you’ve hit that point and I think your parents know you’ve hit that point.

You said your mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn’t say anything. I think she knows it’s on your mind and she’s prepared for it.

Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression. I won’t let that happen. They know how sad you are, and they know that you are doing this to be happy and I think they will understand and accept it. They will always carry you in their hearts.

Roy: Aww. Thank you, Michelle.

Carter: They will move on for you because they know that’s what you would have wanted. They know you wouldn’t want them to be sad and depressed and be angry and guilty. They know you want them to live their lives and be happy. So they will for you. You’re right. You need to stop thinking about this and just do it because over turning always kills, over thinking.

Roy: Yeah, it does. I’ve been thinking about it for too long.

Carter: Always smile, and, yeah, you just have to do it. You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It’s now or never.

In another exchange, Carter told Roy, who had attempted suicide two years earlier, not to be afraid of another attempt.

Carter: If you don’t think about it, you won’t think about failing. You’ll just do it and then thinking you’ll succeed.

Roy: Right. That’s what I’m talking about. I read so much about failed attempts gone wrong that it’s gotten me discouraged.

Carter: Yeah, exactly, so stop doing that. There is more success than there are failures.

Roy: Are you kidding me?

Carter: You have to look at it that way and people only fail because they have the same mindset as you. Thinking they’ll fail.

Roy: I really want to believe you.

Carter: Why don’t you.

Carter: You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.

Roy: I don’t get it either. I don’t know.

Carter: So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused. Like you were so ready and determined.

Roy: I am gonna eventually. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for but I have everything lined up.
I
n other conversations, Carter seemingly pressured Roy amid her own frustration that he had delayed committing suicide.

Carter: Well… I guess [that I am frustrated] just because you always say you are gonna do it but you don’t, but last night I know you really wanted to do it and I’m not mad. Well, I mean, kind of, I guess, just because you always say you’re gonna do it… but you don’t but last night I knew you really wanted to and I’m not mad.

Carter: You’re not joking about this or bullshitting me, right? … I just want to make sure you’re being serious. Like I know you are, but I don’t know. You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.

James K said...

"...texts read during Carter’s trial showed she admitted some guilt."

No. They only show her feeling guilty, not in the criminal sense, but in the way friends often do after a suicide. I lost a friend to suicide and for weeks felt as though I should have been able to prevent it. Of course I wasn't speaking to her on the phone encouraging her to go through with it, but even so those texts should not be used as though they are confessions.

AReasonableMan said...

Apparently there is one way that at least some right wing commentators can be convinced to condemn a police shooting of a black man, they just have to have a concealed-carry permit.

Kevin said...

Prosecutors also say Carter helped Roy devise the plan to use carbon monoxide to kill himself. In one exchange, Roy proposed siphoning the poisonous gas from his truck’s exhaust pipes into the cabin. Carter endorsed the idea and advised him on the specifics.

Carter: Yeah, it will work. If you emit 3200 ppm of it for five or ten minutes you will die within a half hour. You lose consciousness with no pain. You just fall asleep and die. You can also just take a hose and run that from the exhaust pipe to the rear window in your car and seal it with duct tape and shirts, so it can’t escape. You will die within, like, 20 or 30 minutes all pain free.

She also advised him on the location.

Carter: Don’t do it in the driveway. You will be easily found. … Find a spot.

Roy: I don’t know. I’m thinking a public place. If I go somewhere private they may call cops.

Carter: Well, then someone will notice you.

Carter: Do you think you will get caught? I mean, it only takes 30 minutes; right?

Carter: Just park your car and sit there and it will take, like, 20 minutes. It’s not a big deal.

In another text, Carter suggested other methods of suicide if carbon monoxide poisoning didn’t work.

Carter: Oh, okay. Well I would do the CO. That honestly is the best way and I know it’s hard to find a tank so if you could use another car or something, then do that. But next I’d try the bag or hanging. Hanging is painless and takes like a second if you do it right.

On the morning of July 12, she suggested Roy commit suicide during the day and again pressed him to follow through.

Carter: Are you going to do it today?

Roy: Yes.

Carter: Like in the day time?

Roy: Should I?

Carter: Yeah, it’s less suspicious. You won’t think about it as much and you’ll get it over with instead of wait until the night.

Roy: Yeah then I will. Like where? Like I could go in any enclosed area.

Carter: Go in your truck and drive in a parking lot somewhere, to a park or something. Do it like early. Do it now, like early.

Roy: Like, why am I so hesitant lately. Like two weeks ago I was willing to try everything and now I’m worse, really bad, and I’m LOL not following through. It’s eating me inside.

Carter: You’re so hesitant because you keeping over thinking it and keep pushing it off. You just need to do it, Conrad. The more you push it off, the more it will eat at you. You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you will be free and happy. No more pushing it off. No more waiting.

Roy. You’re right.

Roy: Okay. I’m gonna do it today.

Carter: You promise?

Roy: I promise, babe. I have to now.

Carter: Like right now?

Roy: Where do I go?

Carter And you can’t break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something.

Kevin said...

Later that afternoon, Roy sent Carter a text that he was “determined.” Carter responded that she was “happy to hear that” and reiterated, “No more waiting.” After a traveling to the beach with his family and buying his sisters ice cream, Roy said he was questioning how to leave the house.

Carter: Are you gonna do it now?

Roy: I just don’t know how to leave them, you know.

Carter: Say you’re gonna go to the store or something

Roy: Like, I want them to know that I love them.

Carter: They know. That’s the one thing they definitely know. You’re over thinking.

Roy: I know I’m over thinking. I’ve been over thinking for a while now.

Carter: I know. You jut have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now?

Roy: I still haven’t left yet, ha ha

Carter: Why?

Roy: Leaving now.

Carter: Okay. You can do this.

Roy: Okay. I’m almost there.

Prosecutors say that last message, sent at 6:25 p.m., is the last text from Roy. According to officials, he left his mother’s house claiming to visit another friend, but instead drove to the Fairhaven K-Mart parking lot. Phone records show he called and talked to Carter twice, each time for roughly 45 minutes.

Police discovered his body the next day.

In a subsequent text message to another friend, Carter recalled feeling guilty for Roy’s death, and acknowledged pressuring him to get back in the truck after he out upon realizing the carbon monoxide was “working.”

“His death is my fault,” she said. “Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [it] was working and he got scared and I f[—]en told him to get back in … because I knew that he would do it all over again the next day and I couldnt have him live the way he was living anymore.”

mockturtle said...

Lydia, the conversations/texts to which I was alluding were included in the 48 Hours program last night. They showed them all on the screen. She described to her friend how he was 'freaking out' over it and was worried about his parents. She told him they would get over it. :-( She also said she 'fucking told him to get back in the car and do it'.

mockturtle said...

You can probably watch a rerun of the program online including some of the trial.

Kevin said...

No. They only show her feeling guilty, not in the criminal sense, but in the way friends often do after a suicide. I lost a friend to suicide and for weeks felt as though I should have been able to prevent it.

That would be understandable, but that's not what we're dealing with here. She not only recognized she could have stopped him when she talked to him twice during the attempt for 45 minutes, but she acknowledged that she wanted him to go through with it for her own convenience.

I couldnt have him live the way he was living anymore.

She made a choice that he should die.

Saint Croix said...

Stupid retort from a seemingly intelligent person.

Hey, I'll take that compliment. Thanks!

Must have said something smart on some other day.

Inga said...

Kevin,

That 17 year old girl sounds like a psychopath. That is so obviously abnormal behavior, so twisted, so evil. It's almost as if she was encouraging him to go through with it so she could have bragging rights afterwards. I think she wanted to say that she was the last one to speak with him, making herself feel special. She could say she had the honor of being the person he trusted to spill out his disordered thinking to and was with him until the end. How sick.

Depression is treatable as others have said. There was no reason for this boy to have had to die. He was vulnerable to her machinations, probably fueled by her own psychopathy. She needs treatment and deserves punishment also.

Inga said...

St.Croix,

You're smart everyday.

tim maguire said...

Gahrie said...Carter's civil rights have been violated by this unjust prosecution. Hopefully after she is exonerated, she can get her life back.

free Charles Manson!!!


My post was short, you could have read the whole thing.

James K said...

Where was his family in all this? Why aren't they responsible? Putting it all on this girl seems twisted.

Saint Croix said...

Awwww!

Are you my old pal Inga or different Inga?

Inga said...

I'm your old Inga pal.

Inga said...

St.Croix,
You sent me your manuscript, remember?

Kevin said...

Thanks Inga, I completely agree.

As to the larger issue, I find it interesting so many people made so many comments based on the NRO summary - which pulled out the parts which help them make their case - or simply argued with Ann's comments, or posted their own gut reaction about personal responsibility without simply googling to read the facts of the case.

To get to the actual texts and not just a summary of the verdict, you would have to go from Althouse to the linked NR article to the linked WAPO article to another article at the bottom which focused on the evidence. How many people drilled down another three links? How many people didn't even click through to the NR article Ann referenced?

How many people go past the first page of results in any Google search they run?

Had I not been personally interested and kept up with this case on the Boston Globe, I might have come to conclusions much like many of the commenters here. However, I did read the evidence against her, and it changed my opinion of her role when I did. After reading those texts, I could not come to the conclusion that she was merely an innocent bystander, but that without her intervention he would likely be alive today.

The real question, of course, is how many times we fail to understand. How many times we find a piece from NR or DailyKos to keep us from thinking about the reality of the situation. How many times we fit the facts to our principles, particularly when the facts might help us to better refine our personal philosophy.

I know I've done it. It's certainly not helpful.

Saint Croix said...

I remember.

Thanks for reading.

Fernandinande said...

Though there are no state laws criminalizing the encouragement of suicide or stating the duty to report, the judge based his decision on two cases — the first from 1816.

Both bogus precedents:

"One charged Jewett with the crime of murdering himself. The other charged Bowen as a participant through “murder by counseling.’’"

"Murdering oneself" is no longer a crime.

Judge Moniz also cited the case of the Commonwealth v. Levesque.

CONCLUSION
"The decision of the trial court was reversed."

Judges are already bad at their jobs; they shouldn't go around inventing new laws to add to what they're bad at.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...5. There's too much danger of selective prosecution, going after the people who seem awful, and too much power put in the hands of suicidal people to wreak harm on others, finally going through with a suicide after someone who's making them angry lets slip with some text daring them to stop talking about it and do it already

Diagram that sentence. Also, I agree.

The rule of law functions when the meaning of the law is stable and understood. Stretching statutes to cover situations they don't (even when it's to "get" really awful people) harms the idea of, and undercuts the popular support for, the rule of law.

Inga said...

Kevin, the little bit I've read and heard is enough to convince me that this chick was deadly. She needs to get her head screwed on right before she gets free again. Who knows who would've been her next victim, her own future child?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The "this gives too much power to suicidal people" angle (too much power to harm others) is smart and not one I've seen discussed elsewhere.

It seems like a prosecution using that theory would have to fail. For a guilty verdict I'd think you'd need to show that the person killed themselves BECAUSE of those words from the other party. How could you prove that beyond a reasonable doubt? The suicidee (suicider?) is dead and can't give testimony. If they say something like "I'm doing this because X told me to" before killing themselves you'd have a problem of credibility and possibly of admissibility (since the person isn't available to cross-examine I'd imagine the defendant would want to have that evidence excluded since they'd be unable to face their accuser...but probably there's an exception to that that lawyers know).

Anyway it's a good point and shows that Althouse has thought more deeply about this than most others who've commented about this case.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Inga said...Kevin, the little bit I've read and heard is enough to convince me that this chick was deadly. She needs to get her head screwed on right before she gets free again. Who knows who would've been her next victim, her own future child?

I don't think anyone's saying this lil' lady is a good, nor a nice, person Inga.
We don't yet convict people for pre-crime offenses, though. Lock 'er up 'cause she needs lockin' up just isn't good enough, even if we all agree it might be true in this case.

"It's a shame we can't lock people up for being that horrible." True, accurate, good.
"This person is so terrible we should stretch the law so they can be punished." Bad, dangerous.

Kevin said...

Did she commit manslaughter by the legal definition? No.

Let's look at the definition, shall we? "Manslaughter is the killing of one human being by another that is not premeditated. In Massachusetts, involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone unintentionally causes the death of another person, when the defendant was engaging in some type of reckless conduct or while committing a serious battery upon another person."

Has there been a case like this before such that you can point to precedent? No. But the law is the words themselves, not just how they have been applied in the past. Before there were cars and smart phones, there was likely manslaughter. After there were cars and smart phones, some judge had to fit the death of someone due to texting and driving into "reckless conduct".

The victim got out of the car, stopping the suicide attempt. She talked him back into the car so he would complete it. I have no problem fitting her actions into the statute as written.

Inga said...

"We don't yet convict people for pre-crime offenses, though. Lock 'er up 'cause she needs lockin' up just isn't good enough, even if we all agree it might be true in this case."

I'm not suggesting she gets locked up for any or all possible future crimes. She already committed a twisted sick crime, so it's not a stretch to think that she wouldn't do it again if she got away with it this time.

George Ferko said...

Seriously Professor: "Why couldn't Michelle Carter's crime be understood as abetting the self-murder committed by Conrad Roy or a conspiracy with Roy to murder Roy?"

Wharton's Rule would stand in the way of the latter.

John Lynch said...

Althous point 3 is the only way to prosecute this correctly, it seems to me. Conspiracy or accessory. Everyone has reasons for what they do, and there is almost always some influence from outside. In the end an individual person is responsible for their actions.

Kevin said...

For a guilty verdict I'd think you'd need to show that the person killed themselves BECAUSE of those words from the other party.

The judge felt the same way. It was the victim leaving the car in the middle of the suicide, and the 45 minute phone call with the defendant that tipped the case. The victim had actively stopped the attempt in progress and only resumed it after talking to the defendant.

How could you prove that beyond a reasonable doubt?

Again, tricky. She could have been trying to talk him out of it. And she likely would have argued as such, had she not sent the text after his death saying that she pushed him back into the car.

“His death is my fault,” she said. “Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [it] was working and he got scared and I f[—]en told him to get back in … because I knew that he would do it all over again the next day and I couldnt have him live the way he was living anymore.”

You can argue the precedent should set a high bar for this kind of thing. You can argue that the statute fits, but the prosecution is going to have one hell of a time making their case - as Ann does. But you can't look at the SPECIFIC FACTS of this case and then try to hand wave them away.

This specific case fit the criteria and the judge rightly ruled as such.

wild chicken said...

My god. So the suicide was a project, like a paper or presentation he had to do, but he was procrastinating. And she was giving him these tough-love pep talks.

We are indeed in a culture of death.

Fen said...

So there is no record of what he said to her when he exited the truck. Two 45 minute phone conversations, the last one where she claims (via text to friend) she told him to get back in.

I'm trying to look at this as two people who had gotten past the moral and legal prohibitions against suicide. I'm still not convinced she bullied him, I can read her texts as someone trying to help a friend carry out a tough decision that he already stated he wanted to do, to the point that she had given up trying to argue him out of it.

Did he initiate both 45 minute phone calls? If he did, the Bully Narrative falls apart.

FullMoon said...

this chick was deadly. She needs to get her head screwed on right before she gets free again. Who knows who would've been her next victim, her own future child?
Maybe her poor mom and dad? Sick Grandma? Possibly the annoying neighborhood kids. Idiotic blog commenters?

On the other hand, maybe she becomes a loving, caring wife and mother.

Fen said...

We also appear to be letting him off because of his unsound mind, but she was medicated too. I'm not sure if the defense leaned heavily into the side effects but they sound significant.

I'm just saying, if we're going to make allowances for his state of mind, shouldn't we do the same for her?

FullMoon said...

...the little bit I've read and heard is enough to convince me...


Doesn't take much for some to justify a pre-concieved opinion.

Helenhightops said...

I wish more people with terrible refractory depression could get some of these treatments like electroconvulsive therapy, or ketamine, or hallucinogens, or MRI stimulation, or heck, even gut flora transplant. A lot can still be done. But there are too few psychiatrists and lots of people don't have funding.

Inga said...

"Doesn't take much for some to justify a pre-concieved opinion."

I hadn't conceived of such a situation, so I didn't have any preconceived opinion on it. I formed my opinion based on the same info we were all given here and a few other places. Kevin has been kind enough to provide us with some pertinent facts.

Fen said...

We are also assuming his exit from the car means he wanted to stop the suicide attempt. But that could have been a physical reaction to pain and fumes, not a mental reaction to stop the attempt.

Like yanking a shard of glass from your arm. You stop because of pain, a physical reaction you cant suppress, but you know it has to come out so you dig back in.

I don't mean to exonerate her, but I'm trying to look at this from a better angle and test my theory to destruction.

Because the Bullying narrative doesn't withstand scrutiny. You come to your senses and ditch the suicide attempt, but you call back (or don't hang up on) the person who put you in that situation?

Fen said...

"She acknowledged she wanted him to go through with it for her own convenience"

I think you're reading to much into that text. Your analysis is solid, but that text can be taken to mean she couldn't bear to see him suffer another day.

If we are going to damn her from texts sent to friends (while
simultaneously regarding her as an attention whore engaged in M by proxy), we should also consider her texts that are exculpatory.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

5. Is fake news. The judge specifically found that she was not guilty on the texting leading up to the suicide. The conviction was based on what happened over the phone, and what she failed to do - so it is a failure to act case. She never would have been convicted if she hadn't talked and written texts about the final phone call.

Eric Landgraf said...

I am an individual. But I am also a [nurturing] environment to billions of microscopic life forms. Ones that depend upon me to support and nurture their existences. My death will end the lives of these creatures. Should I place my needs above the needs of billions?

Whether I am buried after being "preserved " in deadly formaldehyde or immolated at 1500 degrees F, the various life forms depending upon my continued existence will be wiped out. If we are discussing morality and death, don't I [also] have a moral obligation to consider the needs of inferior but numerous life forms? If these life forms could retain counsel, would a court give them standing? Would a court recognize their right to approach the bar of justice?

Is their inability to argue a case or retain counsel a useful TRUMP card allowing society to proceed with the execution of sentence? We can't hear you. Nothing you say interests us. And besides your inferior life forms. We won't miss you when you are gone.

We execute millions of inferior life forms every year on this planet because they don't have legal standing in a court of law. All we have to do is label them fetuses and our problems are solved.

Fen said...

I'm just saying "for her own convenience" is a loaded assumption. It shadows otherwise good points.

Kevin said...

"So there is no record of what he said to her when he exited the truck."

Well there is the complete recording at the NSA....

But there is also her own record. It's the one where she admits she could have stopped him. She not only didn't but went so far as to tell him to get the fuck back in there.

We should read it to see if it exonerates her. We should also read it to see if it convicts.

Fen said...

"the conviction is based on what happened over the phone"

To be more precise, since there is no record of the phone call, the conviction is based on a text she sent to a friend.

We've already painted the defendant as someone who intended to garner sympathy from friends over her boyfriend's suicide. And she's looking at 20 years because of what could easily be an exaggeration she made to a friend to get attention?

If so, then this case was adjudicated poorly.

Fen said...

Is there any opportunity to get this decision overturned? And who was the defense attorney? A PD?

I think I could have gotten her off with a jury, playing the "Yes my client is a bitch but we don't send hitches to prison for 20 years."

Kevin said...

"She never would have been convicted if she hadn't talked and written texts about the final phone call."

True. We needed to know what was said. It requires one or both of them to disclose. Her disclosure is actually more damaging as she is alive to testify about it.

The prior texts don't convict her, but they do serve to box in her testimony about the text after the call. It's hard to read her final text in an exculpatory manner given the context created by her earlier communications.

Fen said...

Is there a fame motive for the judge to establish precedent? Or maybe a Special Edition with MeAgain followed by a book deal? Because this smells...

Kevin said...

"I think I could have gotten her off with a jury, playing the "Yes my client is a bitch but we don't send hitches to prison for 20 years."

Her legal team waived a jury trial to bet on the judge. They didn't think a jury would acquit her.

Kevin said...

"I think I could have gotten her off with a jury, playing the "Yes my client is a bitch but we don't send hitches to prison for 20 years."

So, free Charles Manson!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

"We don't yet convict people for pre-crime offenses, though. Lock 'er up 'cause she needs lockin' up just isn't good enough, even if we all agree it might be true in this case."

No. But recidivism predictions figures into sentencing.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Your analysis is solid, but that text can be taken to mean she couldn't bear to see him suffer another day.

Right. Because his life wasn't what mattered to her so much as did her own selfish issues - whatever they were. And most of them didn't appear too lofty.

These are not reasons to justify taking (or ordering the taking of a) life.

He was annoying and she wanted to appear decisive and important. Any picture painted of the events that deviates from that basic observation is either not credible or emanates from the mind of someone who obviously thinks that life is overvalued.

MikeR said...

Suicides are generally mentally ill; I'm not so impressed by the argument that his free will is the final determining feature. He may not have had much free will at the time.

Dan C said...

If the young man had failed in his suicide attempt would she have been charged with attempted manslaughter?

Owen said...

What she did was just advanced bullying. Which is a felony, or should be. Because Feelings.

Sarcasm aside, I don't see this decision holding up on appeal. The judge is doing a whole lot of coulda-woulda-shoulda here, about what "must have been going on in his/her mind" to mentally re-enact the self-murder and her role in it. Such gymnastics should be confined to questions where less hangs in the balance. Likewise and *more so* the key evidence was extremely weak: her own text long after the event, ostensibly describing what she and the victim said in the (unrecorded) phone call that allegedly caused him to re-enter the car. How do we know (1) she remembered things rather than invented or embroidered them? (2) she did not speak honestly about her role, perhaps wanting to emphasize her role to impress or disgust others? She is a very messed-up person, why should we believe any of this? What is gained by locking her up: is she going to be a danger to others?

Just bar her from ever working for Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Achilles said...

Kevin said...
"So there is no record of what he said to her when he exited the truck."

Well there is the complete recording at the NSA....

The phone company also has the complete call in un-encrypted form.

That 45 minute phone call is easily retrievable. Is it being hidden?

Fen said...

Ritmo: "her own selfish issues"

Again, assumptions about her motivation. You are not a mind reader.

As for evidence, I think most experts agree that suicide is a selfish act. And did he ever once consider that he was making her an accessory to murder?

---

@Mike, both of them were mentally ill, both were suicidal. According to defense witness (shrink?), she was heavily medicated.

I'm cutting the 18yr old some slack because of his mental illness, I'm also cutting the 17yr old some slack because of her mental condition.

Achilles said...

If you want to put people in jail for encouraging suicide, make a law that makes encouraging suicide illegal.

Not a fan of judicial and prosecutorial creativity when it comes to finding ways to put people in jail.

I hope this is overturned forthwith on appeal and everyone involved is told to adhere to the law and stop making shit up.

Fen said...

Owen makes my argument. Only smarter than me :(

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I saw a tweet of his earlier where he was lecturing those who cheer the protestors who interrupted the Trump assassination play. Who appointed this son of a bitch the moral arbiter of our times?

Fen said...

Who the judge?

Achilles said...

Lets say someone is jumping of a bridge and I run over and tackle them and pull them back.

Then they charge me with assault and battery.

Or I don't tackle them and they jump. Die.

Do they get to read my mind and determine if I wanted to jump? Maybe they think I was saying "You wont do it!"

commoncents said...

Georgia 6 Congressional District Voter Guide


http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2017/06/georgia-6-congressional-district-voter.html

Fen said...

Kevin: "So free Charles Manson!"

I don't see where such snark applies. Didn't Manson run a cult of brainwashed women, ordering them to murder others? How is that relevant to this?

Owen said...

Fen: thanks but I should apologize for missing your argument in the thread. I just zipped past some stuff in my haste to make a point that, it turned out, you had already made.

One of the important fictions in criminal law is that you can look it up *before* you go do what it proscribes. Fair notice. Punishing people with ex post facto laws violates due process to thexmax. A judge coming up with a deep space interpretation is a problem of the same kind. I think we all instinctively feel that, but on these sick facts we want to do *something* to settle the moral account. Well, OK: settle the moral account with moral tools like shaming, shunning, counseling, etc. Using the criminal law to meet a moral failing is like using a chisel to dig up your garden: it doesn't work well, and will soon grow too blunt for any use on wood.

I think the penchant to criminalize everything is a kind of lazy virtue-signaling; even a childish one, and one that grows ever less effective as it supplants moral reasoning.

Richard Dolan said...

Like David French, this strikes me as a hard case making bad law. Unlike French, though, I don't think the problem is line-drawing. Rather, the problem is that there is no statute making Carter's conduct -- encouraging a suicide -- a crime. Instead, the prosecutor and the judge took standard murder/manslaughter statutes, under which the government established guilt by proving that the defendant caused a death by some physical act, done either personally or through an agent, and came up with a new crime of murder/manslaughter by verbal encouragement.

I would not vote for that new crime, but the people of Massachusetts are free to make it a crime if they wish. The problem here is that the people of Massachusetts have done no such thing. In that sense, the overreaching here is similar to that in the cases where the Supreme Court has rejected novel applications of the mail fraud and bribery statutes. The legislature is always free to step in and adopt a new statute (as Congress did by making deprivation of honest services an available predicate for a mail fraud conviction). But that is not the case here.

As Althouse notes, the governments of other jurisdictions have moved in the opposite direction. I would not have voted for those assisted suicide laws either but the people of Belgium and Oregon and elsewhere evidently disagree. It's easier to accept such results when they come about in the normal democratic way.

Achilles said...

Dan C said...
If the young man had failed in his suicide attempt would she have been charged with attempted manslaughter?

I missed this. This is a gem. Maybe you are mean to someone. You tell them to kill themselves. The world would be better off without you. Do the gene pool a favor and off yourself.

Later they "try to kill themselves." Accuse you of attempted manslaughter.

You guys are giving prosecutors way to much leeway here.

The Cracker Emcee said...


"Most of what is morally abhorrent is not illegal, nor should it be. If it were the population within our jails would approach the population without"

And yet most of criminal law exists to deter the morally abhorrent. And it varies with the place and the times. It's not like there's some objective standard carved in stone out there.
I realize it's a legal and civil liberties wilderness of mirrors, but society does have an interest in discouraging general shittiness. It wouldn't be uncivilized to whip this piece of shit in the public square.

Fen said...

Better, since she attempted to suicide him, if she had done as the judge wanted and stopped him, would she be charged with attempted manslaughter?

Ouch that hurt.

Fen said...

Owen: "I should apologize"

Oh hell no, don't apologize. You made the point better than me. I just wish I had said it that way to begin with.

Clear fields.

Freeman Hunt said...

Doesn't the law already recognize a difference between exclaiming, "You should kill that dude!" as an expression of disapproval with someone and genuinely convincing someone over time to murder someone else?

Freeman Hunt said...

Say the difference between a woman saying, "I hope my ex-husband dies in a fire!" and a woman convincing her new boyfriend to set her ex-husband's house on fire.

Mark said...

As I explained and showed in the prior thread, the conviction is supported by at least 400 years of judicial precedent under the common law.

But, of course, something so long established and grounded in right reason has in the past never stopped people from shooting off their mouths in ignorance. So why should it in this instance?

But why even bother going so far back in legal history? Read any contemporary description of what is entailed in aiding and abetting. Hint -- it includes encouraging and counselling by words alone.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Again, assumptions about her motivation. You are not a mind reader.

I'm not a mind non-reader/mental illiterate, either.

Humans are incapable of survival unless they have the basic ability to interpret the behavior of others. Her behavior spoke volumes.

Fen said...

"Her behavior spoke volumes"

No, it really didnt. And I see this so often, people make all kinds of assumption to motive and character based on their own reference point and get everything 180¤ backwards.

"You pushed Jen out of the Treasurer office because you have designs on becoming a Regional Treasurer and want to use the office as a stepping stone. You are evil"

"We needed a strong Chairman. I immediately recognized Jen had good administrative and leadership skills. But like a loyal servant of the people, she understood how important the Treasury is and did not want to leave the office vacant. So I promised her if she took over as Chairman, I would babysit the Treasurers office until she found a suitable replacement"


I see examples like this over and over and over again. ESPECIALLY when the media has reported on something I'm directly involved in. They almost always get the story wrong, and the people following it engage in speculation even more removed from the actual truth.

Fen said...

Kinda like er uhm that Russia Hacking gossip cough cough...

Gospace said...

I don't think it's done anymore- but when I went through boot camp the recruit company commander instructed us that the right way to commit suicide with a razor blade was to run it deeply up and down the forearm, not across the wrist. And that we should do it the shower with the water running so there would be less mess for the others to clean up. That was in the old, old days of 1973.

Today recruits get time-out cards to use if it gets to rough.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

A human life evolves from conception. The abortion of a life, including your own, is a natural right. So, there are two questions. One, should abortion (e.g. murder, manslaughter, suicide) be illegal, and what steps should we take to reverse normalization of abortion rites? Two, should medical doctors assist in the abortion of a human life (i.e. violation of Hippocratic Oath)? For causes other than self-defense?

Pro-Choice has created moral, ethical, and legal hazards, including: [class] diversity, congruence ("="), elective regime changes, elective wars, and elective abortion of millions of human lives annually -- for causes of wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, Democratic leverage, and industry profits -- that have no voice to protest nor arms to secure their basic human right to life.

So, she made a Choice. As with other Choices, the abortion act was performed by another principal at her request. Her Choice is a legal act under the interpretation of scientific fact and human rights by liberal judges who established the Pro-Choice Church. A man could be tried for committing or contracting to commit abortion, but a woman has an unalienable right to Choose lives that she deems unworthy (e.g. "unviable").

Unknown said...

I raced to find the guilty and Davey French told me my perspective was sub-human, hence his words unwittingly ending my own personal race: allowing me, through what I believe to be God's destiny for me, to not fuck with the Truth as if 'twere merely my own to fuck about with or not.

Unknown said...

n.n has got to upgame. Concede evil acts have allowed for our existence. You cannot defend the evil acts that have allowed you to be without a compassion being shown distinctly lacking in your repetition.

This mystery, among many others, ought make you, along beside of coursely me, which always is never needless to say/emote, more Franklin in your judgement or judgment of you, others too of courses notly.

Not as mote/beam mistaken as most others, mistakennezz is perhaps the devil's not greatest but only truly effective ethos.

Unknown said...

Does it matter that Ann Barnhardt could explain scripture truthfully to an extent we all know we are heading toward that lake of fire?

Matters to me.

It would be so easy and nice for me to excuse my sins because of you and the environment.

Too easy for a weak man like me to not respect the taking-of-souls evil plotted and Gramscianed via taxpayer aka victim's means.

Bubba was right: Put the fucking ice on your bleeding lip, whore. And be grateful or we kill your nephew's tomorrow (nephews tomorrow too as records demand we be able to show).

Unknown said...

Would it were n.n could influence human beings living on Earth currently, to better themselves due the gratitude owed God, rather than because of some new-age Eddie Murphy "I got my ice cream, and you can't have none" self-righteous masturbation stroking stroking stroking the typewriter's 'm' and 'e' keys in succession with a pretext of this time being different, hence the same keystrokes exciting expectations of something newly pure and different.

Unknown said...

Guildofcannonballs (me) would know (knows) what to say here.

Laslo Spatula said...

Domitian‎, the Proud Sexy Gay Commenter says...

I was walking home across the bridge after a pathetic party -- a bunch of amped Tops drinking Gin-and-Tonics and bitching that there were no Bottoms there -- when I came across a despondent guy at the railing: despondent and HOT...

He was Brown and Hot and barely spoke English, which I like, but was muttering something about killing himself. Hey, I told him, it's a Saturday Night and I haven't even shot my load, and yet you don't hear ME talking about killing myself: it all gets better, you just have to hang in there...

He looked at me with big brown eyes to die for and said he was afraid he was Gay, and that his family wouldn't understand: it was very cute in an 'are we still in the Eighties?' kind of way...

I told him it was nothing to be ashamed about, and it turns out his family wasn't even IN America, anyway...

So I took him back to my condo, and he could barely fit his lips around my Magnificent Horse Cock. It was okay, though: it WAS his first time, I told him he'd get better at it, honest. And he was a bit startled when I came prodigiously: he choked for a moment, and then said it tasted like Pinolillo...

Afterward, I gave him money for a taxi and made him promise me he wouldn't kill himself today. He agreed, and then asked when he would see me again: he WAS new, and I told him gently we wouldn't be seeing each other anytime soon, I like my Horse Cock sucked by Guys who know what their doing...

Bye, everyone! Suck suck!

I am Laslo.

Kevin said...

If the young man had failed in his suicide attempt would she have been charged with attempted manslaughter?

If someone is texting and driving and just misses slamming into someone and killing them is that attempted manslaughter? No. But if they don't swerve and the person is killed is it manslaughter? Yes.

The lack of "attempted" does not help you determine what is and is not a crime here. It was an interesting thought but you have to follow it through.

Kevin said...

The phone company also has the complete call in un-encrypted form.

That 45 minute phone call is easily retrievable. Is it being hidden?


I don't think that's true, although you may be more of an expert than I am. We know the NSA is keeping all the data, and we know they don't want to be dragged into every law enforcement case at this time, so they're not going to find that call and turn it over.

Similarly, when we ask the government to turn over "everything it has" on a matter, we expect them to turn over what the participants have, not what the NSA has. People pointed out many times over the summer that the NSA most likely has the 30,000 deleted e-mails from Hillary, but the government was not going to open Pandora's box by providing them.

Kevin said...

I'm cutting the 18yr old some slack because of his mental illness, I'm also cutting the 17yr old some slack because of her mental condition.

What about the 17 year-old who kills someone while texting and driving and has depression and ADHD. Any "slack" for her?

Is this a general slackness for teens, or a specific slack here to get to the answer you prefer?

CStanley said...

Well, OK: settle the moral account with moral tools like shaming, shunning, counseling, etc. Using the criminal law to meet a moral failing is like using a chisel to dig up your garden: it doesn't work well, and will soon grow too blunt for any use on wood.

As I said upthread I'm conflicted over the legal ruling, but this young woman's behavior does seem repugnant enough to merit consequence. One thought I had was to wonder about civil liability...could the young man's family sue for wrongful death?

Either way I think Freeman Hunt has raised good points especially about analogous situations where the legal system is able to establish intent and conspiracy.

CStanley said...

Just want to leave this here...in the thread a few commenters have mentioned some treatments that should be tried for severe depression, like ECT and ketamine. To those I would add some simpler and less extreme treatments that all people with depression should consider.

There is a growing body of evidence for methylation defects behind a lot of mental illness. Get DNA tested (23andme or others) and then have it analyzed for the SNPs that affect methylation to see if you can benefit from the use of methylated B vitamins (folate and B12) and/or SAMe. There are studies showing these can be as effective as SSRIs, and lack the side effects that many people experience from those drugs. Anecdotally, that has been my own experience.

Other supplements with some evidence include vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, and Omega 3s.

Other protocols without risk for unipolar depressives include light boxes (or sunshine in sunny climates), air ionizers, and exercise.

Some of these can be risky for people with bipolar disorder, as they can trigger mania.

And finally, there is a good bit of evidence for lithium having a positive effect on suicidal ideation. Some researchers have even suggested it might be an antidote, and that severe suicidal depression might basically be a lithium deficiency (lithium is a trace element and may be an essential nutrient.)

Kevin said...

As I said in the other thread, words compel action only in the world of magic.

Absent magic, we only hold people responsible for encouraging illegal action if they are in a position of authority


Oh wow, this makes life so much easier!. We no longer need to get upset at Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi, BLM, Donald Trump, the Aryan Brotherhood or anyone else advocating violence.

People yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Just words. People saying day after day that Republicans are deplorable and should be killed? Noting to see here. Climate of hate? Ha, ha, ha. Just kidding. These people have no authority over us or anyone else. We're spending most of our time here at Althouse typing on and on about nothing.

But there's more! Incitement to violence? Magic. ISIS videos over the internet? Those people are dead. We need to shut down magic words from dead people? What kind of lunacy is that?And the Koran compels people to violence? Magic words on what, magic paper? What is this radical Islamic ideology but words?

Manson was not a boss. He held no elected office, and had no power of the state behind him. He was wholly dependent on others for his daily needs. He held no position of authority over those women and should be freed immediately because we don't put people in jail for magic words.

Later today, when person X says something inflammatory we just need to shut our little yaps. We don't live in the world of magic, and these people have no authority over us or anyone else. I mean, really, who does? Free will and all that.

It's going to kill 80% of the comments here. You think you can attack Inga or Chuck or Once for spouting off a bunch of syllables? You despise these people. Their words are the most unmagic we can conceive of, and yet we spend hour after hour trying to counter their "evil" effects?

If words are powerless, then they are powerless and we are worse than ridiculous to spend our precious lives engaging the words of powerless people.

Kevin said...

Thanks CStanley. Anyone who knows anyone dealing with depression knows it's a bitch of a disease. The sooner we can crack the code on it, the better life will be for millions of people in world.

MaxedOutMama said...

Tim Maguire - You don't see the parallels because you haven't read the judicial reasoning nor the summary of facts in the indictment or other materials. The judge used different precedents, because he looked at the case a bit differently. He found Carter guilty of both contributing to the suicide attempt (wanton and reckless conduct) and then wantonly and recklessly failing to get him help when she was the only person able to do so. So she helped to create the danger and then she failed to render help. An appeal will probably not be successful, because it is very difficult to argue that the failure to get help was not causative.

Carter urged Roy very strongly over an extended period to commit suicide. She got him to promise to do it, she advised him of the location and the method, and according to her own statements, she was talking to him when he changed his mind and convinced him to get back in the truck. Thus it cannot be claimed that she was not instrumental in putting him in that situation of danger. The fire precedent is pretty apt.

The cases cited in the MA Supreme Court decision upholding the original indictment are different, because they are "joint suicide" cases. In the one, two surviving Russian Roulette players were convicted for the death of the unlucky loser. In the other, a husband was present when his wife committed suicide as the result of a domestic dispute, and he strongly urged her to do it. She pulled the trigger - the hubbie gave her the gun and advised her how to position it.

One may argue that aiding/inciting/participating in a suicide shouldn't be a manslaughter in MA, but it HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN A MANSLAUGHTER in MA for centuries. The girl knew she was in legal jeopardy for her actions. She asked Roy to delete her texts before he did it (he lied and said he did), she deleted some of her own texts, she had texted a friend that she was in trouble when the police got Roy's phone from his parents, and she said she might go to jail. Even she knew she would face both social censure and legal jeopardy if her role was exposed.

Over these centuries, only the most egregious cases have been prosecuted - so I doubt there will be ANY legal fallout from this case. If this is a slippery slope, the citizens of Massachusetts have been down at the bottom of it for a very long time.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Free will is also a slippery slope. There are people here arguing that she only aided him in excercising his free will. Was he capable of clear thought at the time to help him determine if his free will to do something was going to affect him negatively? Did he have the insight to know he was being coerced and manipulated to end his life? Why did he need so much direction, prompting, and even demanding at the end to do the deed if he truly wanted to die? He had a change of mind at the end, he wanted out, but was so under her influence he actually followed her instructions.

To see this incident as a loving girlfriend helping her boyfriend and being supportive in his fulfillment of a deep desire to die is childish and romanticized. If you love someone that much you're not going to help them kill themselves when there is so much treatment available for depression. If one thinks she was giving him tough love by telling him to get back in the car, I would question their understanding of love. Tough love would've been demanding he stay alive and do the hard work of getting healthy again.

If this girl gets away with this criminal act of hers, it may set the precedent for people fighting in court for the right to commit assisted suicide for non terminal illnesses. That is the true slippery slope here. Her act wasn't one of love, she used him to destroy himself in order to get attention afterwards, or some other disordered thought process. She apparently has some pathology of her own, that in itself doesn't excuse her from punishment.

Her words mattered, her words were the weapon she used to help this mentally ill boy who had no faculty for clear thinking at the time, to kill himself. Her words were influential enough to make him go against his last instinct to live.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Dear Fen,

Means...ends.

Are you indifferent to the outcome here, or is that your motivation? That is, do you feel that suicide is a useful form of social hygiene, and want to remove barriers?

Do you think this young woman is going to invent warp drive, or bear the new Christ, or kill somebody that you really want dead someday, and must be protected at this time from the consequences of her actions?

I'll freely admit I run the opposite way. I don't know what the law is, but am glad that it sufficed to catch this very dangerous individual and take her out of the general population.

She has tasted blood, has sampled the power of life and death over others, and she likes it. She will, guaranteed, kill again if presented the opportunity. As a matter of social hygiene, in my opinion, she cannot be allowed to remain among us. She is Jan-Michael Vincent in The Mechanic watching, toying with, drinking in a suicide, except the sexes are reversed.

If you feel that we need to nurture this type of viper in our society, then by all means work for her release. I think the best outcome would be for her to be murdered in lockup pending appeal, so if you think there are civil rights issues here, that question can be left open. However, she has to go. You don't give an ichneumon wasp a trial.

Kevin said...

I don't know why, but the "Dear Fen" between two people who generally, but not always find themselves on the same side of issues cracked me up.

Kind of like "Gentle Comrade in the Struggle for Truth".

If words could connote the putting of one's arm gently around a cherished old friend, "Dear Fen" is it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The thing is that Fen and I could take opposing sides in an argument, coin flip for which, and make better arguments with less BS and abuse than could, say, arm and onesie.

TWW said...

So, the question is, in a civil society, can you murder someone (or assist) in your (and their) mind? I fully understand that words were exchanged, but this was a mind game.

Seems like a slippery slope to me.

Achilles said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
Dear Fen,

Means...ends.


Do you think prosecutors are the best means to achieve the end which is to clean up societies moral failings?

Try harder to get these kids in church and spend less time empowering lawyers who are demonstrably poor tools for dealing with moral issues.

Dan C said...

If someone is texting and driving and just misses slamming into someone and killing them is that attempted manslaughter? No. But if they don't swerve and the person is killed is it manslaughter? Yes.

The lack of "attempted" does not help you determine what is and is not a crime here. It was an interesting thought but you have to follow it through.


The analogy is faulty. Your "someone" would have to have foreknowledge that they would likely meet and possibly t-bone a frenemy in a car at the next intersection, then purposely start the "texting" while still depressing the accelerator :)

Kevin said...

The analogy is faulty. Your "someone" would have to have foreknowledge that they would likely meet and possibly t-bone a frenemy in a car at the next intersection, then purposely start the "texting" while still depressing the accelerator :)

Thank you for this. I'm sure people don't always understand what I felt was clearly explained, and in coming back the way you did I now have an opportunity to do a better job.

There is no such charge of "attempted manslaughter" - for anything - because manslaughter is a crime of negligence. Murder has an intent, and the demonstration of that intent is indeed its own (lesser) crime.

In R v Creamer,[20] the court said obiter that attempted manslaughter is not an offence known to law.[37]

I should have just stated that directly rather than through a more confusing example.

Kevin said...

The thing is that Fen and I could take opposing sides in an argument, coin flip for which

I enjoy the posts from you guys. I would particularly enjoy what may come from you arguing opposite sides at times.

buwaya said...

It seems to me that this is not a matter for law.
There has to be a point where the proper coverage of law ends, and custom must take over. Laws cannot be expected to cover all cases, else it must twist itself into something arbitrary.

This would be a bizarre case even for customary resolution, but it has been done. As a matter of honor between families and clans, the woman must die. The duty of revenge falls, unusually but not an unknown situation, upon the mother, grandmother, sisters and aunts of the dead boy. Not the men, as they cannot kill a woman.

hombre said...

"In R v Creamer,[20] the court said obiter that attempted manslaughter is not an offence known to law.[37]"

This may be true of "attempted involuntary manslaughter." It is not true of attempted voluntary manslaughter although other charges might be preferable.

From what I read, she urged him to take his own life. How could the judge find her acts were unintentional or that the result was unintended?

I find this case very troubling.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...
It seems to me that this is not a matter for law.
There has to be a point where the proper coverage of law ends, and custom must take over. Laws cannot be expected to cover all cases, else it must twist itself into something arbitrary.

This would be a bizarre case even for customary resolution, but it has been done. As a matter of honor between families and clans, the woman must die. The duty of revenge falls, unusually but not an unknown situation, upon the mother, grandmother, sisters and aunts of the dead boy. Not the men, as they cannot kill a woman.


+1

Bad Lieutenant said...

Tentative +1, I had meant to come back to this and say OK Achilles, I'm fine with her walking out the courthouse door, as long as you or someone is waiting outside, sighted in. Not of a burden/risk for you, though.

The family women designing her end is a suitable refinement, thanks B (and welcome back!), but as above, both souls and persons are in danger. Also, vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and the justice system is precisely so that you won't have feuds of this nature. And the stakes are not resurrection, but deterrence, of prevention of her inevitable future crimes.

Best for all if some kindly bulldyke in her detention area takes a philosophical view and saves us all the trouble.