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Lawyers to Massachusetts woman who urged girlfriend for suicide appeal to the Supreme Court



Lawyers to Massachusetts woman, convicted of involuntary rape to encourage her suicide lover to kill, urged the US Supreme Court on Monday to wipe out her conviction because it violated her right to free speech.

Michelle Carter's attorneys called her conviction in Conrad Roy III's death "unprecedented" and says it raises important questions about whether "words alone" is enough to hold anyone accountable for one's suicide.

  FILE: Michelle Carter, center, listens to her involuntary rape judgment to encourage 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill in July 2014.

FILE: Michelle Carter, center, listens to her judgment for involuntary rape to encourage 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill in July 2014.
(Boston Herald via AP)

"Michelle Carter did not cause Conrad Roy's tragic death and should not be held criminally responsible for her suicide," said Daniel Marx, one of her lawyers.

Carter was imprisoned in February after the Massachusetts Supreme Court unanimously adopted his conviction in the death of the then 18-year-old death. Carter, now 22, serves a 15 month sentence.

The court agreed with a judge who found that Carter caused Roy's death in July 2014 when she told him in a phone call to get back in his truck as it was carbon monoxide filling and did not call Roy's family or the police.

The phone call was not registered, but the referee focused on a text message Carter sent a friend two months later when she said that Roy had come out of the truck because he was scared and she told him to come in again.

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Carter's lawyers said in their Supreme Court's petition that Massachusetts justices acknowledged that not everyone who verbally calls anyone to Take their own lives should be prosecuted, but provided "no guidance to distinguish sympathetic cases of assisted suicide from illegal cases of illegal killing".

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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