The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

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One of the things that I looked at when applying to Illinois Wesleyan were dorms, and the scholarships...

Proximity to whiteness is alive and real
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More severe punishment needed for severe crime

Editorial, Argus Staff


It’s like something out of a twisted movie. In July of 2014, through hundreds of text messages, Michelle Carter convinced her late boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide.

Carter was tried on Aug. 24 of 2015 in the case involving Roy’s death. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. She could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding Roy in killing himself.

Here’s the thing: why isn’t Carter being tried for something more serious? Involuntary manslaughter seems more like what you’d call someone running a pedestrian over with a car because there was ice on the road. Involuntary manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence. There is nothing negligent about what Carter did.

It’s almost as if Roy is being charged for his own murder, and that Carter is only an accessory. “Involuntary” implies that Carter didn’t mean for Roy to die. One look at the messages she sent proves that she did.

“You need to just do it. No more waiting,” Carter said in a message to Roy. They went back and forth, with Roy trying to put his suicide off and Carter pressuring him to go through with it.

“You just have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now?” said Carter, and after that, Roy drove to the parking lot where he would kill himself using carbon monoxide.

Carter even researched ways Roy could kill himself and helped him gather what he needed to do it. She decided that he would poison himself using carbon monoxide, from a generator that he would hook up to his car. Carter found a way for Roy to obtain a generator, and lashed out on him when he didn’t want to use it.

As all of this went on, Carter did things that made her seem more and more guilty and secretive. A few days before Roy’s death, Carter spread to her friends that Roy had “gone missing.” This was to keep them out of her hair while she convinced Roy to end his life.

Leading right up to when Roy committed suicide, Carter asked him to delete the messages between them, because they implicated that she was convincing him to end his life. If what Carter did was truly involuntary, why was she taking so many steps to cover her tracks?

Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo said that “Roy didn’t have to listen to her and took his life of his own free will.”

But Roy got out of the car while the carbon monoxide was setting in. He told that to Carter, and she told him to get back in and let the poison take its course.

If it weren’t for Carter, it’s possible that Roy would not be dead. She will go to court again on Oct 2. It’s important that the court realizes that there was nothing negligent or involuntary about what she did.

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