More Bad News for Woman Who Urged Boyfriend to Kill Himself

Michelle Carter's appeal won't be heard by the Supreme Court
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2020 2:12 PM CST
SCOTUS Turns Down 'Suicide by Text' Case
In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Michelle Carter, center, arrives for a parole hearing in Natick, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Michelle Carter has once again been given bad news in her "suicide by text" case: The highest court in the land won't be taking up her appeal. The Massachusetts woman, now 23, is serving 15 months for involuntary manslaughter after she encouraged her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, to kill himself via phone calls and text messages. Roy ultimately did take his own life in 2014 while Carter, who was 17 at the time, was 50 miles away. In September, she was denied parole, and on Monday, the Supreme Court denied her appeal, CNN reports. Carter's argument to the high court had been that her 2017 conviction, which was solely based on her words to Roy, violated her First Amendment right to free speech and her Fifth Amendment right to due process, BuzzFeed News reports.

"The United States Supreme Court not accepting Michelle Carter's petition at this time is unfortunate," one of Carter's lawyers tells CNN. "Clearly, many legal scholars and many in the legal community understand the dangers created by the Massachusetts courts. To that end, we'll be weighing our next steps in correcting this injustice." The Massachusetts Supreme Court, last February, upheld Carter's conviction following an appeal. Per NBC News, the state said there was a long-established exception to the right to free speech when said speech is "integral to criminal conduct," and Carter's speech fit that description. She is currently scheduled for release in March. (Read more Michelle Carter stories.)

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