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Telling Someone To Kill Themselves: Manslaughter?

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Many of you may have heard of a Massachusetts woman who was being tried for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide.  Well the verdict is in and she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

According to an AP article the 20 year old woman sent a barrage of text messages such as the following:

I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!

and

You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t

Another text to her friend found in an article in U.S. News and Report stated the following:

It’s my fault, I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car.

The woman remains free on bond until her sentencing, she faces anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison.

Something you should know, a psychiatrist testifying for her defense, said she was a “very troubled youngster” who suffered from depression. During the time she was making these texts she was taking Celexa, an antidepressant that targets the brain’s frontal lobe, which controls empathy and decision-making.

In Massachusetts an involuntary manslaughter charge can be brought “when someone causes the death of another person when engaging in reckless or wanton conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood of substantial harm”.

Do you believe she should have been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter or not?

If she also had mental issues like her boyfriend, by the way it was the boyfriend who came up with the idea of suicide, can she be blamed?

Maybe she believed she was actually helping him to end the torment he was suffering for years.  That is not to mean that what she did was right, by all means it was not.

The Live with Renk show, airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

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