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The girl in Massachusetts

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  • The girl in Massachusetts

    As I'm sure most of you have seen a major news story today is a teen girl being charged with involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. Her lawyer asserts that this is not possible because he physically committed the action himself.

    Does anybody know more about what the laws are about this sort of thing?

    http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/...3f5417c27.html
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    I browsed through her tweets and she seems like just a normal girl. Someone you know might be a psychopath and you'd never know.

    I found this tweet funny though:

    "I'm so unphotogenic like what am I supposed to do when I'm famous?"

    I wonder if she ever got the answer to that question.

    Does anybody know more about what the laws are about this sort of thing?
    According to Wikipedia it's illegal to encourage suicide in all 50 states but it's not well sourced.

    That said:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/03/19/...ta-court-says/

    The Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that advising or encouraging suicide was speech protected by the First Amendment and carved the words from the statute.

    “We conclude that the State may prosecute Melchert-Dinkel for assisting another in committing suicide, but not for encouraging or advising another to commit suicide,” wrote Justice G. Barry Anderson for the majority.
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

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    • #3
      I've seen legal mechanisms in place to charge people for doing things like shouting encouraging words to people about to fight, or encouraging someone to commit murder. But I've never seen a case like this before. There may be a precedent, but if there is I'm not aware of it.

      I think it's a bit of a stretch, but involuntary manslaughter is an interesting option. I haven't looked up that states specific statutes, but the involuntary part of the name of the charge typically means that the defendant did not intend to cause death. I'm wondering why, if they were going to charge her, they didn't go whole hog and charge voluntary manslaughter. After all, I'd say encouraging someone to commit suicide is plainly likely to cause death. Now, whether that should be considered a criminal act or not is a different argument.
      "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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      • #4
        It could at least be negligent homicide if she knew it was happening and failed to do anything about it, but I can't remember if negligent homicide is a crime or not.

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        • #5
          Pretty sure "negligent homicide" is another way of saying "involuntary manslaughter". Different states us different terminology, but I think it's the same thing.
          "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            As I'm sure most of you have seen a major news story today is a teen girl being charged with involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. Her lawyer asserts that this is not possible because he physically committed the action himself.

            Does anybody know more about what the laws are about this sort of thing?

            http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/...3f5417c27.html

            http://massmurderdefense.com/pages/manslaughter-in.html


            Telling someone to do something is an act - IM only requires an act or a failure to act when a duty exists. I think the latter is stronger but the former wouldn't be laughed out of court.

            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

            My Personal Blog

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            • #7
              Originally posted by myth View Post
              Pretty sure "negligent homicide" is another way of saying "involuntary manslaughter". Different states us different terminology, but I think it's the same thing.
              I don't think so. Negligent homicide has to do with criminal negligence.

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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              • #8
                what are the details of how she convinced him to kill himself?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  what are the details of how she convinced him to kill himself?
                  For one thing it appears that at one point he had second thoughts and got out of the truck and she persuaded him to get back in and carry through with the suicide.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                    I don't think so. Negligent homicide has to do with criminal negligence.
                    http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/inv...-quick-review/

                    Here, the author explains that one category within involuntary manslaughter is killing another human being by a culpably negligent act or omission. This is what I was thinking of.
                    "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by myth View Post
                      http://nccriminallaw.sog.unc.edu/inv...-quick-review/

                      Here, the author explains that one category within involuntary manslaughter is killing another human being by a culpably negligent act or omission. This is what I was thinking of.
                      Just a quick note - this wouldn't be culpable negligence, though.

                      I'll get back when I have time to do the reading. :)

                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                      My Personal Blog

                      My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                        Just a quick note - this wouldn't be culpable negligence, though.

                        I'll get back when I have time to do the reading. :)
                        I agree that the case in the OP isn't culpable negligence (it goes beyond that).

                        If you mean that negligent homicide doesn't involve culpable negligence, then I don't follow.
                        "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Negligent homicide involves criminal negligence which is a different animal, if I recall correctly. Let me get back to you - I need to read your link.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                          • #14
                            So apparently she sent him tons of texts encouraging him to kill himself, did nothing to report the fact that he was suicidal to anyone in authority or his parents. He got scared and said he wasn't going to go through with it and left the truck. She texted him to "get back in" and he did and killed himself with exhaust poisoning.

                            Then she started tweeting about what beautiful soul was lost, how horrible suicide was, and even raised money supposedly for suicide prevention.

                            The girl sounds sick in the head and took advantage of a boy who was depressed and vulnerable. To me that makes her culpable.

                            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...tion-died.html

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by myth View Post
                              I agree that the case in the OP isn't culpable negligence (it goes beyond that).

                              If you mean that negligent homicide doesn't involve culpable negligence, then I don't follow.
                              Point conceded - culpable and criminal negligence are one in the same.

                              So we agree that the actual case doesn't involve culpable negligence, correct?

                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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