Lawmakers in Massachusetts will be debating a proposed law named after Conrad Roy III. Conrad, an 18-year old, died by suicide after his then 17-year old girlfriend, Michelle Carter, encouraged him to kill himself via a series of text messages. In Carter’s manslaughter trial, prosecutors argued that Carter not only texted Roy, but that she also listened as he took his final breaths and did not notify authorities. Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2017. She began serving her 15-month sentence this past February. Conrad’s Law would codify coerced suicide as a separate crime, punishable by up to five years in prison. A hearing was scheduled for today, November 12th at 1 PM. Roy’s mother is expected to testify.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Lawmakers in Massachusetts Consider Conrad’s Law Which Would Make Coerced Suicide a Crime Video
- “Massachusetts lawmakers to debate ‘Conrad’s Law’ to make coerced suicide a crime”
- “’Conrad’s Law’ Pitched As Way To Avert Tragedies”
- “’Conrad’s Law’ proposed in Massachusetts in response to Michelle Carter suicide texting case”
- “Mass. Lawmakers Hold Hearings to Consider ‘Conrad’s Law’”
- “Bill S.2382”
- Writing: Are there any opponents to Conrad’s Law? If so, what do they argue?
- Debate: Coerced suicide is not a crime and should not be punished as such.
- Poll: Do you think that coerced suicide should be a crime in every state?
- Short Answer: What are the provisions of the bill?
Current Events Quiz
1.) Conrad’s Law would codify coerced suicide as a separate crime, punishable by _____.
a. community service
b. one year in county jail
c. 5 years in prison
d. 10 years in prison
2.) Supporters has stated that the bill would not apply to ______.
d. all of these
3.) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. suicide rate was _____ higher in 2017 that it was in 1999.
a. 7 percent
b. 12 percent
c. 33 percent
d. 54 percent
4.) The suicide rate for young people has climbed to its highest point since 2000. (T/F)
5.) Massachusetts is the only state that does not have a provision explicitly criminalizing suicide by coercion. (T/F)
6.) The offense would extend to cyber-bulling cases that lead to suicide. (T/F)
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons/Massachusetts State House/City of Boston Archives