Murder, she texted? Michelle Carter, manslaughter, and assisted suicide
WGBH - 04/26/2016
I’d like to home in on the basic premise of the case: Is manslaughter the right charge and, if the case goes to trial, what obstacles will the prosecution encounter? The key issue is not so much whether Carter should be charged with a crime—she should—but rather which one. Bristol County prosecutors obtained an indictment from a grand jury on involuntary manslaughter, a crime below murder on the hierarchy of homicide liability. The state’s theory appears to be that she recklessly or wantonly caused Roy’s death: that her words prompted him to follow through with his suicidal instincts; that she disregarded this risk when she pressed “send” on her phone and disseminated her communications; and that this behavior was a vast departure from what a reasonable person would do.