Lawyers for Michelle Carter, a Massachusetts teenager found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for convincing her boyfriend Conrad Roy into killing himself, are asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the controversial case.
At nearly the same time, the HBO documentary I Love You, Now Die was aired. The two-part series chronicles the time leading up to and immediately after the suicide. In it, chilling sequences of texts showed Carter’s brutal willingness to push the unstable Conrad Roy toward his own death.
Roy was found dead on July 13, 2014, after filling his pickup truck with carbon monoxide using a gas-powered generator. The truck was parked in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, Ma.
Carter sent texts urging her boyfriend to end his life.
Carter: “So are you sure you don’t wanna [kill yourself] tonight?”
Roy: “What do you mean am I sure?”
Carter: “Like, are you definitely not doing it tonight?”
Roy: “Idk yet I’ll let you know”
Carter: “Because I’ll stay up with you if you wanna do it tonight”
Roy: ” Another day wouldn’t hurt”
Carter: “You can’t keep pushing it off, tho, that’s all you keep doing”
Roy: “Okay I’m gonna do it today”
Carter: “Do you promise”
Roy: “I promise babe”
Geek out on more of Michelle Carter’s texts here.
Roy drives to the parking lot, hooks up the generator and begins inhaling the fumes–and then gets scared. He gets out of the truck and calls Carter, who tells him to get back in.
He is found dead several hours later.
why the supreme court might hear the case
The Supreme Court is under no obligation to hear the case, and, actually, most cases are denied a hearing by the Court: About 100 out of 7000 cases are taken up each year.
The Supreme Court may consider a case that represents a difference in ruling between different states, or if the case is of national importance, for example.
Michelle Carter’s lawyers are asking the Court to consider the case because, they say, a guilty verdict based on texting violates her right to free speech. They also say that this verdict would not have been found in other state courts and therefore represents a conflict (if two states apply rules differently the Supreme Court can step in to make sure laws are consistent). And, her lawyers claim that her conviction violated due process (her right to be treated fairly by the law) because the involuntary manslaughter law is so vague it could be interpreted differently by different people.
Did Michelle Carter “kill” Conrad Roy? Check out the debate here.