By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Last February, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter for assisting the suicide of Conrad Roy who was 18 at the time of his death. Carter, who was 17 at the time of Roy’s death, was sentenced to 15 months in prison. The court found that Carter pressured Conrad to die by suicide.
Another young woman has been charged after pressuring or assisting her boyfriend to die by suicide.
Inyoung You (21) has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the suicide death of Alexander Urtula (22) with whom she had an 18 month relationship. Mark Pratt reported for the Associated Press:
Inyoung You, 21, was “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive” to fellow Boston College student Alexander Urtula during an 18-month relationship, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said at a news conference.
Ms. You sent Urtula, 22, of Cedar Grove, New Jersey, more than 47,000 text messages in the last two months of the relationship, including many urging him to “go kill yourself” or “go die,” Rollins said.
You also tracked Urtula and was nearby when he died in Boston on May 20, the day of his Boston College graduation.
“Many of the messages display the power dynamic of the relationship, wherein Ms. You made demands and threats with the understanding that she had complete and total control over Mr. Urtula both mentally and emotionally,” Rollins said.
According to the Associated Press article
You is in her native South Korea, and it is unclear when she will be arraigned. Prosecutors are in negotiations with You’s counsel to get her to return to the U.S. voluntarily, but if she does not, Rollins said, she will start extradition proceedings.
Last July, Massachusetts State Senator Barry Finegold and Representative Natalie Higgins introduced Conrad’s Law, a bill to deter suicide coercion. Conrad’s law would punish those who coerce others into committing or attempting to commit suicide, with punishment of up to five years in prison.
The bill does not apply to assisted suicide, which is illegal in Massachusetts.
Similar to other assisted suicide cases, the person who dies may have been coerced or encouraged to suicide.
Carter’s lawyers argued that her texts were constitutionally protected free speech and yet the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld her conviction. “The Carter decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which hasn’t yet decided whether it will take up the case,” Pratt reported.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.