Taunton, MA – The Massachusetts woman who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for sending her boyfriend text messages urging him to commit suicide will be released early on good behavior.
Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Jonathan Darling told WFXT that Michelle Carter started serving her sentence in February 2019 and is scheduled for release on Jan. 23.
Carter, now 23, had initially been due for release in May of 2020.
“There have been no problems and she has been attending programs, which is common at state facilities like the Bristol County House of Correction,” Darling told WFXT.
“Ms. Carter continues to attend programs, is getting along with other inmates, is polite to our staff and volunteers, and we’ve had no discipline issues at all,” he continued in an email.
The news of Carter’s early release came just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal.
Carter was 17 years old when she encouraged her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to kill himself repeatedly via text message, WFXT reported.
Investigators recovered countless text messages between the two where Roy was expressing his concerns about his decision to commit suicide and Carter was pushing him to go ahead and do it. He did.
Her attorneys argued in their Supreme Court appeal that Carter’s case should be thrown out because it was a blatant violation of her First Amendment rights.
They have also claimed there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Roy would have lived if his girlfriend had made an effort to save his life, according to WFXT.
The attorneys told the justices in the appeal that Carter’s case raised questions about whether words alone could be used to hold an individual accountable for another person’s death.
It also raised new questions about the role of technology in committing and prosecuting crimes, according to Newsweek.
Carter was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in August of 2018.
But the judge suspended half of her prison sentence and sent her away for only 15 months plus five years of probation, Newsweek reported.
Joseph Cataldo, one of Carter’s lawyers, said that the Supreme Court refusing to hear the appeal was an “injustice,” WFTX reported.
“The U.S. Supreme Court not accepting Michelle Carter’s petition at this time is unfortunate,” Cataldo said. “Clearly many legal scholars and many in the legal community understand the dangers this precedent created by the Massachusetts courts.”