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Putting a modern spin on the definition of manslaughter, a Massachusetts judge found Michelle Carter guilty in the death of an 18-year-old friend she had instructed to kill himself in a series of text messages and mobile-telephone conversations.The decision by Bristol Juvenile Judge Lawrence Moniz in the bench trial could have future ramifications for criminal cases involving online speech and assisted suicide.She wrote posts on Facebook about how she would become an anti-suicide activist and organized a baseball tournament in his memory, though in Plainville, Mass., where she lived — not in his hometown of Mattapoisett, where most of his friends were. The defense relied heavily on the testimony of a celebrity psychiatrist, Peter R.
Daniel Medwed of the Northeastern School of Law said he thought Carter might have a chance of reversing the decision on appeal.“When many of us read her text messages, our stomachs churn and we want her to be held accountable, but that doesn’t mean it is manslaughter. “The classic form of manslaughter is the driver who strikes a pedestrian or the person who shoots into a crowd. The judge was basically updating manslaughter as a doctrine to apply to contemporary circumstances. They’re out having fun with people that aren’t exhausting to be around. They’ve seen the text, but I’m too much to deal with right now. “I once was texting someone and they stopped texting me back for four hours. They opened it and are writing a long response to tell me off. Even if it’s your significant other, best friend, or family members.” — They don’t care about me. I don’t worry about my closest friends or family, I think it’s because I’ve known them for over 10 years/all my life.” — 18.He had recently earned a maritime captain’s license and was set to attend Fitchburg State University in the fall.“Every time he came up with an excuse not to do it, she kicked his feet from under him,” prosecutor Katie Rayburn said.Roy’s suicide would allow Carter to play the role of the grieving girlfriend, enhancing her social status at high school.