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Supreme Court won't take up appeal of Michelle Carter's conviction for role in boyfriend's suicide

The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would not take up...

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 12:29 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2020 5:45 PM

The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would not take up the case of Michelle Carter, a woman serving a 15-month sentence for her part in her boyfriend's death by suicide.

Carter had asked the justices to take up her case, arguing that her conviction three years ago for involuntary manslaughter -- based on her words alone -- violated her First Amendment rights.

Carter was found guilty in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, who killed himself in his car in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in 2014. After his death, investigators discovered Roy had texted Carter as he contemplated and attempted suicide, and that she'd encouraged him to do it when he had doubts.

In one of the dozens of texts Carter sent to Roy before his death, she wrote: 'I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it! You can't keep living this way.'

Massachusetts' highest court upheld Carter's conviction following an appeal last February.

'The United States Supreme Court not accepting Michelle Carter's petition at this time is unfortunate,' Joe Cataldo, one of Carter's defense attorneys, told CNN on Monday. 'Clearly, many legal scholars and many in the legal community understand the dangers created by the Massachusetts courts.'

Carter had faced up to 20 years behind bars, but her defense attorney at the time of her conviction asked for five years of supervised probation with required mental health counseling. She ultimately received a 15-month sentence.

She is scheduled to be released on January 23, the Bristol County Sheriff's office said.

She hasn't had any problems in prison and has been attending programs at the Bristol County House of Corrections, Jonathan Darling confirmed to CNN.

Daniel Marx, another attorney representing Carter, argued in his filing to the justices last year that his client 'did not cause Conrad Roy's tragic death and should not be held criminally responsible for his suicide.'

'This petition focuses on just two of the many flaws in the case against her that raise important federal constitutional issues for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide,' he wrote in the filing.

This story has been updated with Carter's planned release date.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
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Hendricks14401248
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Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
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Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
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Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
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Noble473059
Jackson425047
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Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
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Summit34836761
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Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
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Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
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Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
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Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
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Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
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Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
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Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
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Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
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