Michelle Carter, Who Encouraged Boyfriend To Commit Suicide, To Be Released From Prison Early
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts woman convicted in 2017 for encouraging her boyfriend Conrad Roy III Roy to kill himself. At the time, Roy was 18, Carter 17. The case sparked worldwide interest last year, when HBO released the documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter.
Roy killed himself in his truck through carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014, after receiving encouragement from Carter. The day of his death, Carter texted Roy to “just do it” and instructed him through the phone to get back into his truck when he was having doubts. Carter knew that Roy had been contemplating suicide, and grew frustrated with him every time he failed to go through with suicide plans he made before his eventual death. Carter also did not call 911 or alert Roy’s family the day of his death, which played a part in her 2017 conviction.
Carter, now 23, argued that her her conviction, based on her text messages and phone calls with Roy, violated her First Amendment Rights to free speech, and that her case deserved to be heard by the Supreme Court.
“The trial judge’s verdict and the [state supreme court] affirmance leave no doubt that Carter was convicted for her words alone — what she said and failed to say to Roy. Carter neither provided Roy with the means of his death nor physically participated in his suicide,” Carter’s lawyers told the court. One of Carter’s lawyers, Joseph Cataldo, called the Supreme Court’s decision “unfortunate” and that Carter’s conviction is an “injustice.”
Though Carter’s conviction will stand, she is set to be released from jail on January 23. Carter was originally was set to serve a 15 month sentence, and be released from jail in May 2020. On Monday, Jonathan Darling, a spokesperson for Bristol County Sheriff’s department, told Boston 25 News that Carter is being released early for good behavior.
Swift told Boston 25 News that Bristol County House of Correction, where Carter is an inmate, has had “no problems” with her. “Ms. Carter continues to attend programs, is getting along with other inmates, is polite to our staff and volunteers, and we’ve had no discipline issues at all.”