On June 16th, 2017 Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy. Roy did suffer from suicidal thoughts and struggled with depression. When he was ready to end it all, he was hesitant, but his then-girlfriend, Carter coerced him into finishing the deed.

Death was the cure

During the Atlantic Slave Trade captured Africans would jump off ships in order to escape what was to come in the New World. In Shakespearean plays, death is often depicted as an outlet, a means of escape for many of the characters.

The common misconception that dying grants freedom and even happiness remained in her mind while crafting her text messages to him. She did not want him dead, she wanted him at peace and content. Carter and Roy both thought suicide was the answer, and she was willing to help him take his life.

In a nation where killing oneself is often trivialized, young Americans do not fully grasp the depth and complexities of taking a life and losing a loved one. Carter is to blame for her insensitive and careless text messages that swayed Roy into committing suicide. Even questioning why he had not followed through with the suicide yet was thoughtless and even bizarre. Carter is not a murderer; she is a young woman that believed Roy would be happier if he ended his life.

This case is indeed a commentary on American culture and perception of death and suicide.

Power of words

If someone says, "jump off a bridge" it does not mean you simply follow his or her orders and jump. However, if the person is unsteady and losing their footing, to begin with, they are much more susceptible to input and may fall more easily.

In this case, Roy did not take his life simply because Carter told him to. His history and present struggle with suicide and depression caused him to be more easily persuaded to take his life. Roy's emotional troubles and Carter's twisted sense of death as a remedy allowed this terrible incident to occur.

Her physical absence from the scene is beside the point

Carter did not lay a single hand on Roy, they hardly ever were physically together, but her words proved to be far stronger than any physical attack possible. Roy was suicidal and desired to kill himself at times, Carter's messages magnified his feelings and converted them into actions. Roy was already on the fence; Carter just pushed him over.

Carter influenced Roy, but she did not take Roy's life. She was an ignorant teenager who at 17 years old had no utter idea of how much power and impact her texts would have on her boyfriend. She was under the spell that death was indeed the answer to pain and suffering, she did not at all count the cost of her actions.