Texting, Suicide and The Law: The case against punishing Michelle Carter
In 2014, Conrad Roy committed suicide following encouragement from his long-distance girlfriend, Michelle Carter, in what has become known as the Texting Suicide case. The case has attracted much attention, largely focusing on the First Amendment free speech issue. This book takes the view that the issue is intertwined with several others, some of which have received less attention but help explain why the case is so captivating and important, issues concerning privacy, accountability, coercion, punishment, and assisted suicide. The focus here is on how all of these issues are interconnected. By breaking the issue down into its complex layers, the work aids reasoned judgment, ensuring we aren’t guided solely by our gut reactions. The book is laid out as a case against punishing Ms. Carter, but it is less important that we agree with that conclusion than that we reach our conclusions not just through our instincts and intuitions but by thinking about these fundamental issues. The work will be of interest to scholars in law, political theory, and philosophy as an example of how theoretical issues apply to particular controversies. It will also appeal to readers interested in freedom of speech and the First Amendment, criminal justice and theories of punishment, suicide laws, and privacy.