Amanda Knox Says Michelle Carter Needs Sympathy After 'Wrongful Conviction'

Aunt of texting suicide victim seeks stiff punishment for Michelle Carter

On Thursday, Bristol Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn asked Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz to sentence Carter to not less than seven nor more than 12 years in prison. Instead, she told him to "get back in".

The infamous exoneree published an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times saying "Michelle Carter deserves sympathy and help, not prison", just a few hours after Carter was sentenced. Manslaughter across the country is a unique kind of crime.

Judge Moniz' decision to render a guilty verdict hinged on evidence that Roy had exited his vehicle when he started to feel the effects of the poisonous gas, only to be told to get back in by Carter, who was talking to him on the phone at the time.

"Get back in", Carter told Roy, according to a friend who testified Carter described the conversation in a text message to her about a month after Roy died. In the piece, Knox said Carter was wrongfully convicted.

The defense painted a different picture, pointing to Roy's previous history of suicide attempts and continued research into suicide methods to argue that he had dragged Carter along on a suicide plan of his own making.

Cataldo said during the trial that Carter was a troubled teen who was on Celexa, a treatment for depression, which can trigger side effects like irrational thinking, irritability and poor impulse control.

Knox said that "by holding her accountable for Roy's death, we increase the tally of victims in this case".

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Cataldo said that Carter, in a letter to probation, had accepted responsibility for her actions and should receive term of probation with mandatory mental health treatment.

"The judge found she should have intervened, and that's also an unusual finding".

The judge's conclusion was particularly unexpected, several lawyers said, because MA is one of a few states that do not explicitly outlaw encouraging or persuading someone to commit suicide. "Words, usually just words, are not sufficient [to prove manslaughter]". The American Civil Liberties Union of MA immediately decried the guilty verdict, saying at the time in a statement that the conviction "exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the MA and U.S. Constitutions".

Carter's case has drawn controversy because many legal scholars don't believe her actions rose to the level of causation. The verdict was the first of its kind in the state, and legal experts said it is likely to be appealed.

Moniz said that moment was what led him to find Carter guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Before trial, the case went all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court.

"It got to the point that he was apologizing to her, ... apologizing to her for not being dead yet", Rayburn said in her closing argument.

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