For many of us, we can't remember a time before texting. Having our cellphones in our hands 24/7 and being constantly accessible is something that this generation has become used to. When we hear about people who don't have smartphones, it seems a bit unfathomable. To think of a time when there was nothing but landlines feels archaic.
With all the convenience that texting and cellphones can bring, it's also a very bizarre phenomenon that can sometimes lead you into difficult situations. How many times have you accidentally sent a text to the wrong person? A text you'd prefer them to never see? Or how many times have you panicked over why someone never answered your text, and it pushes you into a panic attack of, "Why aren't they answering me?"
Cellphones have revolutionized our lives, there's no doubt about it. But for one young woman, her digital trail and text messages led to her being sentenced to jail time for her role in a suicide.
State’s high court to announce decision in Michelle Carter suicide-by-text case today https://t.co/GkNJxc4NAp https://t.co/0kE49IOw3m— Boston Herald (@Boston Herald)1549462200.0
Conrad Roy III was an 18-year-old American marine salvage captain.
via: FacebookRoy’s suicide on July 13, 2014 was allegedly encouraged by his then 17-year-old long distance girlfriend, Michelle Carter.
You may know the case as the “texting suicide case."
via: Getty ImagesNamed Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter, the case involved trails of phone calls and texts at the time of Roy’s suicide.
At the time, Carter was about a month out of a psychiatric hospital when she reportedly “badgered" Roy into taking his life.
Mass. high court rules on Michelle Carter's involuntary manslaughter conviction in texting suicide case… https://t.co/f1SAi4vjhU— Boston.com (@Boston.com)1549466370.0
The high court ruled that she is at fault for Roy's suicide.
BREAKING: A Massachusetts woman who was convicted of coercing her boyfriend over text messages into killing himself… https://t.co/tUeJEDmAFM— HuffPost (@HuffPost)1549466104.0
The statement continues...
State Supreme Court Determines Michelle Carter’s ‘Wanton’ Texts Caused Conrad Roy III’s Suicide… https://t.co/BE9OKN1r1K— Law & Crime (@Law & Crime)1549466564.0
While on the phone with Carter, Roy inhaled carbon monoxide in his Ford-250 truck.
via: Getty ImagesThe suicide happened in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
Carter decided against a jury for her trial.
via: Getty ImagesJudge Lawrence Moniz of the Bristol County Juvenile Court ruled that Carter was the cause of Roy’s death.
She told him to “get back in" his truck while it filled with the poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.
#Breaking: The Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter, find… https://t.co/ANG2aK0BjI— Chris Villani (@Chris Villani)1549465022.0
The court wrote the following:
via: Getty Images“As the defendant herself explained, and we repeat due to its importance, '[The victim's] death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the [truck] because it was working and he got scared and I f--king told him to get back in,'" the court wrote.
Her lawyers responded with a statement.
via: Getty Images“We are disappointed in the Court’s decision," they said. “We continue to believe that Michelle Carter did not cause Conrad Roy’s tragic death and is not criminally responsible for his suicide."
Her lawyers also said they are exploring their options.
via: Getty ImagesWhich could include an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Carter’s sentence does not have a date yet.
via: Getty ImagesHer team has an allotted 28 days to ask the high court to reconsider its ruling.
According to NBC News, the Bristol District Attorney’s Office will also need to head back to a lower court and have “the stay on Carter’s sentence revoked."
via: Getty ImagesThere is a long road ahead, but Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III is pleased with the high court’s ruling.
Quinn released a statement regarding the high court’s ruling.
via: Getty Images“This case is a tragedy for all of the people impacted by this case," Quinn said.
The statement continues...
via: Getty Images“As the court stated, the defendant herself admitted that she caused the death of Conrad Roy by her own conduct."
The defense team also looked to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
Court upholds conviction of Michelle Carter in texting-suicide case https://t.co/mueZIuy2Nk— Amanda High (@Amanda High)1549503242.0
Now, along with her 15-month sentence, Michelle Carter is facing a $4.2 million lawsuit over the alleged wrongful d… https://t.co/4ZiVCvnrZh— VICE Life (@VICE Life)1549503002.0
However, the state Supreme Court cited three cases in which those defendants were found responsible for “encouraging a suicide."The court released a statement: “In sum, our common law provides sufficient notice that a person might be charged with involuntary manslaughter for reckless or wanton conduct, causing a victim to commit suicide."
The statement continues:
Massachusetts high court upholds conviction in Michelle Carter case https://t.co/QjAlKRJh8t— Kevan Ramer (@Kevan Ramer)1549501716.0
Civilians are speaking out about the ruling on Twitter.Some are passionate about defending Carter.
Roy's family is speaking out as well.
After the states highest court upholds Michelle Carter’s involuntarily manslaughter conviction, her victim’s aunt t… https://t.co/M0lDdTxYy6— Kimberly Bookman (@Kimberly Bookman)1549486987.0
Some are unsure of how to feel about the ruling.
I don’t think I’m okay with this https://t.co/mWwDaiiDzh— Marshall Law (@Marshall Law)1549477875.0
In regards to the case, it is reported that at first, Carter wanted Roy to seek help.
Massachusetts' highest court has refused to overturn the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter, th… https://t.co/rHiBWFfuAV— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeed News)1549499640.0
The court cited several of Carter's texts.
via: Getty ImagesOne text read, “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!"
In July 2014, Carter texted Roy.
via: Getty ImagesHe was having doubts about his suicide. The pair talked about how to do it, including carbon monoxide poisoning.
The case raises a lot of questions.
Michelle Carter, convicted of coercing boyfriend into suicide, will remain free during appeal, for now https://t.co/kR57H6gehT— MSN Canada (@MSN Canada)1549499566.0
It asks a question, instead...
via: Getty Images
“When does bullying cross over into committing a homicide?" Levenson said.
According to Suicide Statistics and Facts, "Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages."
via: Getty ImagesOver 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
It's a harrowing, tragic statistic.
via: Getty ImagesIf you or someone you know is looking for help or needs to speak to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.