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Is Encouraging Suicide the Same as Involuntary Manslaughter?

Michelle Carter,18, who texted messages to her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, also 18, to go through with his plan to commit suicide has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. And now her lawyer is trying to convince the judge to drop the charges claiming she was "brainwashed" by her late boyfriend, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The case has captivated the nation with the hashtag #justiceforconrad taking over social media by storm. And the main question arising in all this is: Should encouraging suicide be considered a crime?

Newly released text messages detail exactly how involved Carter was in the suicide. Roy had apparently been talking with Carter about suicide for a while and when he expressed some doubts about leaving his family behind, Carter texts, "Everyone will be sad for a while but they will get over it and move on."

"It's now or never," she urges Roy. She later texts him, "You always say you're gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing." Carter was even on the phone with Roy as he sat in the car with carbon monoxide coming in.

A police report details that once Roy "actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck but instead of telling him to stay out of the truck and turn off the generator, Carter told him to 'get back in.'" Even Carter herself admits to a friend afterwards that she could've stopped the death, but did not and that if cops were to discover the texts, she'd be "in big trouble."

Defense attorney Joseph Cataldo claims that Carter was a "young, impressionable girl" who was "brainwashed" by Roy to "endorse his plan." He contends that the teen was determined to take his own life and had already made an unsuccessful attempt two years prior. He had also previously been in a psychiatric hospital and was on medications for his mental state.

Catalado impresses on the judge, "It was [Roy's] plan. He is someone who caused his own death. Michelle Carter's only role in this is words."

Perhaps, but were these the words that sent an already unstable young man over the edge?

We'll find out soon when the court reconvenes for the case on October 2.

Photographs by: Facebook

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