'#Chicago Justice' posed the question this week of who should go to jail if someone who is being abused and decides to commit suicide. Peter Stone, the prosecutor, prosecuted a woman's ex-boyfriend for murder after the woman committed suicide. The question is, was he really guilty of murder, or was the victim responsible for her own death?
#Lily is a juror on a case that Assistant District Attorney Stone is prosecuting. She asks to be excused from the case because she feels she is under too much pressure after being a juror in the case. Two days later she is found dead, and the district attorney's office believes she has been murdered.
Why did Lily commit suicide?
Lily is forced to finish the trial in spite of her objections.
The defendant in the case is found guilty, and Lily rushes from the courtroom. After she drowned, and her body is discovered, the police believe she was murdered because they find her with duct tape on her mouth and around her wrists. Jurors are put into protective custody while the investigators tried to discover who killed Lily.
The 'Chicago Justice' investigators track down a list of suspects who were tied to the defendant in the case. A series of texts are discovered that lead the investigators to Lily's son. Sam's father has been pressuring Lily to get off the jury or lose her son. Lilly is also being evicted from her home, and her sister has also died in the past three months.
A film is later discovered where it shows Lily jumping into the water. She has drugs in her blood and river water in her lungs, and she drowned. Stone believes Lily was stalked and harassed by Jackson, Sam's father, in such a way that she didn't want to live anymore. Jackson filed multiple complaints of child abuse against Lily, and Stone believes the pressure of her situation caused her to commit suicide..
Who was responsible: Lily or the father of her child?
'Chicago Justice' brings up a gut-wrenching question for all of us. If a person is pushed hard enough and long enough, can that person finally just give up and commit suicide to escape the harassment? Are those who harassed and stalked the victim responsible for the death, and should they be prosecuted for murder?
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everyone struggles with stress at one time or another. Although 'Chicago Justice' points to the seriousness of what harassment and what too much pressure can do to a person, there is still the issue of personal responsibility.
Does there need to be a law on the books where those who stalk and harass others are charged with murder and sent to jail? Although it would be easy to say that those who harass and stalk pushed the person to commit suicide, it fails to answer the question of how much responsibility lies with the person who committed suicide. Although it is a tragedy, and those who harass and stalk are responsible for their actions, ultimately the decision to commit suicide lies with the person who made the decision to die..
There are no easy answers in a situation like this, and 'Chicago Justice' makes a valid point that those who harass and stalk need to be held accountable for their actions. Jail time certainly needs to be a consideration here because stalking and harassment are already crimes. Classifying these actions as murder because the person who committed suicide may be taking it too far though as the stalker isn't the one taking the life.
What do you think? Who ultimately bears responsibility for the suicide? Did the prosecutors in 'Chicago Justice' go too far in prosecuting the ex-boyfriend?
'Chicago Justice' is the fourth show in the Chicago series. It airs on Monday nights at 10:00 p.m.