Michelle Carter, the Massachusetts woman currently serving a 15-month sentence for encouraging her late boyfriend to kill himself in 2014, has appealed her case up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
BuzzFeed reported that Carter, 22, has asked the country’s highest court to review her involuntary manslaughter conviction on the basis that her texts to Conrad Roy II, 18, were protected by the First Amendment. Carter, then 17, had texted Roy to “get back in” his truck after he expressed apprehension about taking his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning.
In February, the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld Carter’s involuntary manslaughter conviction, finding that her texts weren’t protected by the First Amendment. Shortly thereafter, a judge ruled that she must immediately begin her prison sentence.
Carter’s attorney, Daniel Marx, told BuzzFeed that his client’s prosecution and conviction “based on her words alone” violated her First Amendment rights.
“Michelle Carter did not cause Conrad Roy’s tragic death and should not be held criminally responsible for his suicide,” he told the news outlet.
Carter’s camp has also argued that authorities arbitrarily enforced assisted suicide laws in this case, essentially violating her Fifth Amendment right to due process.
Marx also said, “The vague common law of involuntary manslaughter fails to provide guidance to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement in morally fraught cases involving suicide.”
NBC News reported that Carter filed the petition on Monday, the last day possible. It’s currently unknown whether the Supreme Court will hear her case.
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[Featured image: Michelle Carter/Bristol County Sheriff’s Office]