The young woman whose text messages to her boyfriend helped cause his 2014 death has learned her fate. Contrary to the age old “sticks and stones” cliché, the courts have ruled that yes, indeed, words can actually hurt – even kill – you.
That’s not stopping some, including Amanda Knox, from calling for leniency:
Roy’s aunt, Kim Bozzi, had stated that she hoped the judge would hand down the harshest sentence possible. He didn’t — he could have gone with 20 years, and Carter will only serve 15 months — but even his relatively lenient decision is too much.
Michelle Carter, now 20-years old, was sentenced on August 3 to spending at least 15 months in prison, should she lose her appeal. The judge had sentenced her to 2.5 years, but also ruled Carter will be eligible for release after a little more than a year, CBS News reported.
Carter was 17 when she sent her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, 18, a series of texts urging him to take his own life. He died in June 2014 after sending a text telling him to “get back in” a truck which was filled with carbon monoxide gas in a parking lot. Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz presided as Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Live updates via tweeting from Jan Ransom of the Boston Globe provided many details about the sentencing. Carter’s defense pleaded for probation for 5 years, with mental health counseling, in order to receive a rehabilitative sentencing, while prosecutors suggested 7-12 years. Relatives of Roy asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years. The judge took his own approach, however, with sentencing, and granted the defense’s request that Carter to remain free while the sentence is appealed.
Relatives of Roy made their emotion felt, including at sentencing. Roy’s mother, Lynn Roy, shared her grief with ABC’s 20/20. “I wake up each and every day with pain and heartache living without Conrad,” she said. “The same pain I felt the day Conrad died. Regardless of what happens to or where Michelle Carter is, my pain will always be the same.”
As the details of the case show, Carter is a very disturbed young woman. Prosecutors argued during the trial and at sentencing that she had Roy go ahead with his suicide in order to receive attention and sympathy from his classmates, as she planned to get away with her role as a “grieving girlfriend.”
Whether or not Carter has shown remorse, and Roy’s father does not believe she has, she still has time to discover that words have consequences.
Franklin Graham added to calls for prayer, as well as called attention to the fact that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Check out his powerful words:
Words matter. The Bible tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its…
Pray she seeks repentance and realizes the weight of what she – and her words – actually did.