Michelle Carter will serve 15 months in prison for her role in boyfriend Conrad Roy's suicide, but one high-profile person who herself has known the inside of a jail cell says incarceration isn't what Carter needs. Amanda Knox, who spent four years in an Italian prison before she was acquitted for the murder of her roommate, writes in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that she felt a "sickening sense of deja vu" watching the prosecutors in Carter's case try to make her out to be some sort of "femme fatale," much as Knox felt she'd been portrayed herself. Which is why, in combination with other factors, Knox feels the judge's "relatively lenient decision is too much," though she acknowledges "it's hard to feel sympathy for Carter," as she "may not be innocent in a moral or philosophical sense."
Knox's argument isn't that Carter is blameless—just that a different crime may have been committed, and that the punishment may not fit. "We can interpret her part in the final moments of Roy's life as incitement to lawless action, or conspiracy to commit a crime," she writes. "But involuntary manslaughter?" She notes someone who kills himself is "his own victim, his own murderer," and that confusing feelings about suicide make it easy to blame someone other than the one who took his own life. Knox says Carter had tried in the months before Roy's death to encourage counseling, and that her own mental health issues may have marred her ability to better help him. "Each served as catalyst to the other's mental illness, yes, but without calculation, without cruelty," Knox says. How Carter would be better served: "sympathy and help." Knox's full piece, here, touches on her own past suicidal ideation. (More Amanda Knox stories.)