Suicide has much to often been the cause of loss within and the destruction of families. Despite the numerous suicide prevention efforts, people still sometimes slip through the cracks and for some, it is difficult to accept this and forgive one's self. In reality, there is often no one to blame for the suicide of others. This is why the case of Michelle Carter has shaken so many people and has caused much disagreement on the price she should pay for her actions.
For anyone that doesn't know, Michelle Carter was recently sentenced to two and a half years for involuntary manslaughter, 15 months of which will be spent in jail and during the remaining time, she will be on probation. Currently, she is free pending appeals. Michelle Carter's actions were disgusting and there is no better way for me to put it. Encouraging someone to take their own life suggests psychological instability, but it doesn't make her a murderer or even someone that should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Carter repeatedly texted her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, encouraging him to take his own life. These actions are wrong, but she didn't cause his death in any way. He was suffering from depression and already experienced having suicidal thoughts. As his girlfriend, Carter should have provided him with support and attempted to find him help. Instead she preyed on his weakness and mental illness for her own personal satisfaction. This proves she needs a psychological evaluation and therapy, but doesn't show she is responsible for his death.
Legal Dictionary defines involuntary manslaughter as "the unintentional killing of a person as a result of a reckless or negligent act, or as a result of the commission of a non-felony crime." As sick and unforgivable as Carter's actions were, there is just no logical way to prove that she caused the death of Roy, even involuntarily. It is not a crime to encourage someone to do something, even if they are encouraging them to take their own life. While it may be easy to blame Carter for Roy's death, all she did was speak to him. He was still technically responsible for his own actions.
I don't agree with Michelle Carter's actions and it's hard for me to even think of her as a person, but she is. She's a human being with rights and one of those rights is to a fair trial that follows the laws of the United States. The effectiveness of our judicial system is something that is constantly called into question, but in this case, I think the outcome of this case should be clear. Michelle Carter shouldn't be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of Conrad Roy III. As inexcusable as her words were and as much as she took advantage of someone who clearly needed help, she in no way forced him to take his own life. There was no bullying, blackmail, or threats; Roy just happened to put his trust into the wrong hands and committed his own act because of this. Michelle Carter is mentally ill and shouldn't be locked away in jail. The argument has been made countless times that our mentally ill should be cared for outside of a jail cell and I think that's exactly what she needs. She may not have caused the death of Conrad Roy III, but it is clear now that she needs help and definitely could be a threat to herself.