BOSTON — The case of Michelle Carter, the Plainville woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for convincing 18-year-old Conrad Roy to kill himself, captivated the nation. And now, Conrad Roy’s mother is behind efforts to change state law to prevent something similar from happening again.
Conrad Roy died by suicide on July 13, 2014. After Roy’s death, authorities became aware of a thousand texts, emails and phone calls between Carter and Roy in which Carter pressured the troubled teen into taking his own life.
Carter told a friend that she heard Roy die and, in a text, claimed that when Roy had second thoughts and stepped out of his truck as it filled with carbon monoxide, Carter claimed she ordered him to “get back in” the truck.
Massachusetts does not have a law banning coerced suicide. In the Carter case, her lawyer unsuccessfully argued that the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free speech provisions protected Michelle’s communications with Conrad.
At the State House, lawmakers are now considering Conrad’s Law, a proposal that calls for a five-year state prison penalty for anyone who pressures a suicidal person into taking their own life. Lynn Roy is strongly backing the measure.
In a statement to Boston 25 News, Lynn’s husband, Roland St. Denis, said: “We hope that Conrad’s Law not only serves as a deterrent to others committing these horrific actions but to also shine a brighter light on one of societies greatest issues, mental illness. We are simply trying to protect those who are most vulnerable.”
The Bill is now in committee.
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