Some of you may recall the texting suicide that took place a few years ago. The verdict was recently delivered for the teenager – now a woman, who though texts urged a young man into following through with his plans to commit suicide. He succeeded.

She and her lawyers argued that this young man was struggling with life and suicide was what he felt would bring him peace. His friend claimed that even though she had felt responsible for not stopping him, she also felt that it was inevitable and she was trying to be supportive of what she felt he wanted.

She has been found guilty and her sentencing will take place shortly that will carry a maximum of 20 years.

Do you agree with this sentencing? Do you feel that suicide is a punishable crime? Do you feel that someone’s actions should be blamed on someone else?




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  1. ladybarbara 2 years ago

    I did not study that case, but think that she could not have much more influence on the boy’s suicide than the boy’s own desires themselves. He was compelled to commit suicide by his own desire to do so.

    In 1981, I had a friend that I lived with. I rented a room in his house, as I went through a divorce. That friend was sitting at the table and plotting out an “accident” that would kill him. He was working out the math on paper. Angles, speed, and the weight of a Nissan truck. I got angry at him. Not that he was having suicidal thoughts, but that I was his only friend with a Nissan truck.

    At parties, at his house, he would sit out of the range of the party-goers and watch the party from afar. When I asked him why he was not blending in and enjoying the party, he said that he was enjoying the party. He was watching to see all of his friends having a good time WITHOUT HIM in our lives. He was always talking about ways to die and thinking of everybody going on with life without him in it. It got to be so often that he spoke of his death, that I thought he would not go through with it. There is that theory that a person who talks about suicide is not going to go through with it. He was a kinky person and had lots of sex toys in his room. He was always setting up kinky sex adventures. He kept this a secret from his family.

    Then, he met a new friend with a Nissan truck. He memorized and burnt the paper plans of that suicide he had plotted out.

    Then, one night, he borrowed his new friend’s Nissan truck and ran it into a freeway overpass. The result was a roll of the truck that killed him.

    When I heard he had died, the first thing I did (before crying) was to get a box and get rid of the sex toys in his bedroom BEFORE his family could look at his room. I took everything kooky and kinky and threw them in an alley dumpster. When I confided in one of his close friends that he had plotted that “accident” he died in, I was told to shut up and not mention it. His death was judged to be an accident and the family collected his insurance. His new friend’s Nissan was insured and replaced.

    I don’t think that knowing about the suicide plan had added to his determination to go through with killing himself.

    When someone is talking about suicide, it is hard to know what to say to them. It is that theory that when they talk about it, they won’t go through with it. You just never know what to say. Do you humor their fantasy? Do you scold them? Do you try to ignore such insane thought? No matter what you choose to do, you will feel that you should have done something else, or did more to stop him. I don’t think that it should result in this woman going to prison for an act that she did not have hands-on acts of actual killing of the boy. But then, I did not read about the case.

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  2. eric 2 years ago

    Yup. So the prosecutors in the case were tasked with proving the woman’s role in the guy’s death, and they succeeded. If nothing else, this demonstrates the power of communication, especially in an era where the things you text are being recorded.

    Had they been talking on the phone or just hanging out after school a decade ago, I doubt the case would have proceeded this far. Maybe I am wrong. I haven’t really looked for such a case where someone encouraged another to committ suicide based on private conversations.

    I’ma file this under other things that is really making things topsy turvy. For example, making death threats online, or harassment on social media. We don’t really know how to handle the era of digital communication, but this case goes to show that we are starting to take it seriously. As well we should, I think.

    I’m not an expert but I assume her lawyers will be appealed. Regardless, I don’t think she would face a maximum term. But I dunno. :disappointed:

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  3. weenis 2 years ago

    I don’t agree with the sentencing. I don’t think suicide should be a punishable crime. I don’t think someone should be held accountable for the actions of someone else.

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    • Fletch 2 years ago

      what about RICO? people are held accountable for other’s actions.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      I think proper justice would mean holding her accountable for HER actions; something on the order of an accessory before the fact.

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  4. Fletch 2 years ago

    I agree with @weenis – reminds me of the Judas Priest case in 1990.

    If someone really really wants to kill themselves, they will find a way, with or without advice.
    But if they do, unless you bought them the gun, rope, or pills, you shouldn’t be held responsible.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      What about if you told them where to get the gun, rope or pills?

      This is less a case of being responsible for a death, than being an accessory to it. Not telling them where to get the gun rope or pills might not have prevented their death.

      But one certainly and knowingly assisted them to their death.

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      • Fletch 2 years ago

        I’m sure there is a lot more to this story. This is all I know about it, from the post – “through texts urged a young man into following through with his plans to commit suicide.”

        so who really knows all the facts…. not I.

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  5. Lucifer Rising 2 years ago

    Yeah, I do. I mean, if the case was such that he was just looking for a convenient excuse, no. But, if she was really pushing him over the edge and maximizing a tactical situation, then yes. Depends on the details the jury heard.

    In general, also, I think the US needs to far cut down on imprisonment and unnecessary laws as it is hard to call your nation a free nation when your incarceration rate and conditions exceed that of a good majority of totalitarian nations.

    But this kind of thing, yes. There are cases where people are pushed out of sheer rabid cruelty to commit suicide.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      What about “casual cruelty”? The mindset that “this person is really a drag to deal with”?

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      • Lucifer Rising 2 years ago

        Griz wrote:
        “What about “casual cruelty”? The mindset that “this person is really a drag to deal with”?”

        As a response to my statement: “But this kind of thing, yes. There are cases where people are pushed out of sheer rabid cruelty to commit suicide.”

        So, the person is a “drag to deal with”, so push them off the proverbial cliff?

        We all have to watch out for each other, and suicide is one of those areas where everyone has to help. The last thing anyone needs to do is find someone suicidal and push them off the cliff, using their found power to the point someone kills their self.

        I have not looked deeper into the case, so my statements are not entirely serious and solid. Hypothetically, it depends on the situation. As I gave as a necessary caveat in my first response.

        Life is often very bad, and there are situations people find themselves in regularly where suicide seems to be the only way out.

        At that juncture, someone in a position to push them off the building or try and pull them back can find themselves in a critical position of power. If they were sadistic and wanted the person to die, then they certainly could have been as if giving them a push… and so, at least, guilty of manslaughter.

        It is not about punishment, however, as an end to its’ self, it is about sending a message to society to be kinder to each other.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        Like you, my initial responses were almost entirely in the hypothetical. @thomas added some valuable context specific to this case, which became a kind of “test” for the hypothesis — which then can be applied in the “now” (or the soon-to-be-now) for the benefit of all.

        “Weighing in” on just this specific case has no real benefit to any. Using what has happened to make the present and the future a better place, is our noblest use of time and effort.

        Some good observations on the suicidal mindset — AND notably the “position of power” people might find themselves in over such a person. Depending upon how deeply they are trapped in this mindset, like it or not, YOU become their voice of reason and conscience.

        That’s a LOT of power to wield over another; and a very real test of what one would do with power. I find myself in total agreement that this needs to be more a message to society to be kinder to each other; and that “the punishment” is just the vehicle of this.

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      • Lucifer Rising 2 years ago

        “That’s a LOT of power to wield over another; and a very real test of what one would do with power. I find myself in total agreement that this needs to be more a message to society to be kinder to each other; and that “the punishment” is just the vehicle of this.”

        Well, frankly, even Ted Bundy worked a suicide hotline at one time. And he was pretty good at it, too.

        In general, the US justice system is deeply in problems. Nobody at the time much thought so bad of any of the old systems of broken justice systems. That is just how things are. Canada is not too different from the US here. Norway is much different.

        Rehabilitation ultimately must be the goal. But, finite world, finite resources, finite capabilities, finite lives and so finite knowledge, wisdom.

        Not that this should not be an emergancy situation, the US is destroying its’ self from the inside. And like it or not, the pillar of the world’s stability is the US.

        That clock is running out as China is estimated to take the place in some years, though if matters continue as they are, the US will continue to lead the world in culture.

        The culture the US outputs is good, and largely Christ based, albeit through heavy metaphor.

        And largely unconscious to the audience and creators.

        Not that this matters.

        What needs to happen is a cultural focus more on the evils and dangers this prison system presents. That alone, apart from divine intervention, has some hope of bringing about lasting change and so stability to the US.

        As one example, a major factor in the supermassive volatile political wars is the strong base of Neo-Nazism here which is founded and maintained via prison gangs.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        I appreciate your insights and the time you take to share them.

        Actually I think it matters greatly that the US was founded on essentially Christian (or at least “godly”) values. I find myself a bit envious that it’s written right into the foundations of the nation, on her currency etc. There’s a lot more power there to keep it a godly system that will stand as a beacon to the world . . . than is present in the foundational documents of most other nations. If there was ever a nation with the inherent ability to correct and re-make itself into a better nation, it is the USA.

        And I think “the enemy”, is the same as it was in Jesus’ time: rampant religious process. And whether destruction comes from within (worship of rights, of an ideology, a nation, a book, a document, politics, sexuality, leisure, entertainment, sex, drugs, emotions etc) or from without (enemy politics and terrorism) . . . at it’s heart is the exact same drive to be “safe” (saved) and “right” (righteous) — perhaps spiced up with the desire to earn/deserve divine favor herein and hereafter.

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      • Lucifer Rising 2 years ago

        The US very well could be Babylon in Revelation, I do not know. There is great good and great evil.

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  6. Thomas 2 years ago

    We need to remember that the defendant was not convicted because of her text messages. The judge was clear on that in his verdict.

    The defendant was convicted because of her “phone conversation” with
    her boyfriend after he had gotten out of his vehicle to save himself from the toxic fumes.

    In that phone call, the defendant “commanded” her boyfriend to “get back in the cab”, which he did and then died.

    For a crime to occur, three legal elements must be satisfied. (1) is called mens rea or guilty mind, meaning that the defendant must have a guilty mind, (2) is known as actus reus or guilty act, the defendant must commit a guilty act, and the third element is that the guilty mind and the guilty act must occur at the same time.

    The defendant in this case did have a guilty mind because she encouraged and “commanded him to get back in the cab”. She also commited a guilty act by picking up her phone and dialing his number. And these two elements happened at the same time.

    The only mistake that the defense attorney made, in my opinion, was to agree to a bench trial or a trial by a judge. The defense should have asked for a jury trial.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      In light of this it would seem clear she is being held accountable for only her own actions; and a longer sentence would perhaps be justified.

      A cry of “high prison populations” should keep justice from doing what it is charged to do.

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    • Jear77 2 years ago

      Interesting that you list 3 different things for a crime, not the classic 3: motive, means, opportunity (which she had MAYBE)

      motive – she wanted him dead, means – the text messages, opportunity – he was feeling depressed and took advantage of it. But there really needs to be a 4th part: a recognition that what they’re doing is wrong or illegal. Without that final piece in the puzzle

      But really even if someone is of a “guilty mind but because they don’t know the act they are doing is illegal, should it still be a punishable crime? I know the thing ignorance of the law is not an excuse… but if this is the first case where this happens, legally it sets a precedent. Fictional Example: Let’s say I post an ad for a job with my cellphone as contact. Because I’ve had so few responses and the few I’ve had have been bad I end up feeling depressed. Some cruel bastard for shits and giggles tells me to kill myself. But they do so as a practical joke, not meaning anything. Or they do so cruelly but not thinking anyone would actually follow through with the suggestion. I do so at the behest, saying in a suicide note to track down this person and give their cell number, saying that they encouraged me to do so. This person might not have watched the news, heard the verdict regarding this case. And they would be held culpable in my suicide regardless of any sort of understanding that it is wrong or illegal. Is there something wrong with this equation?

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  7. Yin 2 years ago

    I admit that I don’t know that much about the case. If she encouraged and prodded him into it, then there should be some sentencing (though 20 is pushing it.) Was she just supportive, I’d say a slap on the wrist should be the maximum. You can verbally drive people to suicide. That is very much different than supporting someone’s decision to end their life. Purposely causing someone to get into that mind frame where they want to do it, that should be punishable. I am someone that would try to talk someone through it, but I can’t help but be supportive of them with that decision at the end of the day. I understand it. I understand not wanting to be alive anymore. Life just isn’t for everyone, as sad and depressing as that sounds. I wish there was a more humane and safer (for other people) way to go about it though. This is why I support legalized assisted suicide/euthanasia.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      Some good thoughts. Especially the difference between nudging or pushing someone into it, and acceptance of this being what they are going to do regardless of your input.

      I remain undecided on assisted suicide. I can certainly see the possibility of euthanasia being a possible solution in some terminal cases. But suicide by it’s nature, impairs or even removes the ability to seek out solutions beyond simply “dropping out” because life is “difficult”? There is a very unified voice rising from those who overcame “the suicide solution”, saying that they are exceedingly glad they didn’t succeed — and that things that seemed so insurmountable then . . . faded into veritable insignificance over time.

      But this is NOT belittling the fact that suicidal thoughts, like depressive thoughts . . . REALLY gets a hold on a person and very effectively “alters” thought processes, perspective and even brain chemistry to the point where serious impairment occurs.

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      • Yin 2 years ago

        I see suicide as an option once seeking solutions doesn’t solve your “problem.” While I understand and admire the “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” quote, I just don’t totally believe that. Some people just won’t ever find a solution. I hate that is the case, but it is what it is.

        I just feel like either way, it is the same outcome. You are just biding your time, which just isn’t everyone’s friend. I, personally, never want to grow old. That is something I fear. I don’t want to be old. I have ran into others online who feel that way as well. If people are caught anywhere between that and just not a fan of life in general, I don’t see where suicide is truly a bad thing. It is depressing and I don’t want anyone to ever feel that way, but suicide is going to happen with or without a more humane way to do it. I just figure that people can be somewhat more comfortable than if they did it one of the more “normal” ways. No need to allow more suffering. And, I’m not a fan of controlling the one thing that an individual truly owns.

        As Hunter S. Thompson said: “I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time.” I’d be a liar if I said I don’t have similar feelings. It isn’t the idea that I want to commit suicide or plan to, it is just the trapped feeling of not being able to do it (humanely) if I choose to. I don’t like being stuck in a place that I don’t trust.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        The strength of that quote is that successful suicide absolutely guarantees no solution will be found. All possibilities cease: and none can say how valuable that possible solution would have been to the person or all of society.

        And sometimes there is no solution: but the struggle and the endurance becomes a special solution for many. I’ve seen this first-hand with a loved one. Sometimes everything is not all just for us.

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      • Yin 2 years ago

        Sure, some people do endure and have better lives than before. I love when they do and wish more could. It just isn’t that way for everyone. To some, it is a solution. To not exist is a solution. There are those that feel like me that are of the opinion that life has no meaning or purpose. To be in constant pain or mental anguish in a world that you deem to be purposeless, it just doesn’t make sense to some people to stick around waiting for just the chance of things getting better when none of it has any true purpose anyway.

        It is like we go day by day just trying to tackle our boredom, also while trying to physically survive of course. This is why antinatalism made sense to me. I don’t like the idea of rolling dice on creating a life that MAY be happy. Even when it is happy, then what? What would it have meant? What purpose does it really have?

        Overall, I’d feel and would be selfish if I made someone stay in this world when they don’t want to. Yea, I would hurt and would miss them, but it is their choice. It is their life. At the end, I just want them to not be hurting. If that means them no longer existing, then I would like those final moments to be as painless as possible as well.

        And just to clarify for anyone reading: I understand that I am way more open to suicide than the normal person, but I would never advocate for suicide. Just the means for people to do it in a safe, less painful way if they themselves make that choice. Don’t want anyone to confuse the two.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        There my well be exceptions where suicide is a justifiable solution. Incurable disease may be one of them.
        But in depression we have disease that alters brain chemistry and perspective, producing a deep but mistaken conviction that one is “the exception”: and that it’s terminal. (Is never going to get any better)

        If one has an incurable disease where suicide may be feasible option and the disease is cured suicide is no longer feasible.

        Depression can be cured but there is no Magic Bullet. It takes a lot of work and learning to control one’s own inner Kingdom of emotions and feelings.

        If we open the door to suicide as a solution just because something may be difficult, all we are achieving is a brutal kind of population control than culls the sick.

        There have been regimes in the past that have grown strong for a time by culling the infirm. Are those chapters of History we want to re-visit?

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      • Yin 2 years ago

        Why would it be population control? Why would it be culling? Consent still has to exist. A government or group of people should have zero say in the matter. It is the individual to decide. Also, not everyone with this mindset feels that life is hard or they hit a bad spot in their life. They just don’t see life as being needed. They just don’t care enough to go through the mundane motions of it all each day. One could argue that if it isn’t about pain, then they have the freedom to hang themselves if they wish. While true, I just don’t think that is needed. To leave a world that we never asked to be a part of, why does it have to end in such misery? It is such a dark thing to expect from someone. Killing yourself is hard. Every fiber in your being tries to keep you from doing it. We are built to survive, but some of us feel that survival is not needed by any means. They don’t want to live, but they don’t want to kill themselves. That is where assisted suicide comes in.

        There is just way too much negativity to the concept of death. When it isn’t consensual, that is very much a problem. Death itself though, why is that a negative? Why is someone ceasing to exist, which is probably the most natural thing in life, seen as such a negative? It sucks when someone you love is no longer with you, I get it, but they will no longer feel any of our pains or burdens ever again. They are free from the chains of pain and fear and suffering. Demanding they stay in this world just seems so selfish.

        I always think about what would happen if I got cancer. What do I do? Does it matter what stage it is in? Do I get treatment to try and beat it or just let it happen? Cancer sucks, but the treatment and what life could deal me later on, I can’t say that I would most certainly take treatments or whatever. Letting it happen is most certainly an option if assisted suicide is not an option for me that I could take later in life. I am fine with living if I have a key to opt out at any point. If that key comes earlier than expected and has a time frame, then I do have to think about it. I, personally, just don’t like that having to be someone’s thought process, but when there is nothing else… We all will face death. I will just never understand the urge to stop (and I mean forcefully) those that wish to embrace it early.

        Also, about population control. I’m not going to advocate for that since consent is removed, but I think we as individuals need to think about it on a personal level. My god, we really don’t need more people in this world. Like, I am for everyone stopping, but I think that it is reasonable to suggest that we have less children overall. People need to take advice from themselves when it comes to animals and adopt instead of birthing more. Seven billion people is absurd.

        Edit: Also, America’s motto is land of the free. I just assume that we’d be free, you know? To be able to legally go out on our own terms. Our lives are ours. I think think that would be an ultimate freedom, no matter how seldom it may be used.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        I speak as someone who has known victory over depression many times. Knowing how to defeat it doesn’t mean it’s any less of a struggle each time. You can know that you are it’s slave and that it is amending your thoughts and feelings to keep it in power. But you just don’t care or see the worth in caring.
        But is that your assessment or the disease’s!

        That is what makes depression so Insidious; and makes terminal decisions under its influence a rightly questionable thing.

        But the waters can get very muddy very quickly when were talking about the freedom to be enslaved to the freedom to be enslaved under the guise of freedom!

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  8. Spitfire3dC 2 years ago

    Her defense should have been Guilty by reason of insanity.

    She is exhibiting a delusional need for power probably caused by a sense of powerlessness for any number of reasons.

    Although she could be rehabilitated, that does nothing for the poor guy used as a pawn in her game and severe punishment does a couple of things. It illustrates to society in general that encouraging a negative outcome is not acceptable. Secondly, it reinforces that suicidal thoughts, while experienced by practically everyone, or not the answer, for everyone. Suicidal thoughts can be fleeting and to choose to encourage those quick solution considerations is heinous in the extreme.

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    • griz 2 years ago

      Or perhaps ignorance?

      There are still people who don’t realize that in most cases someone seriously considering ending their life over some problem that will fade into insignificance in a few years . . . is not thinking clearly. This is not to belittle the suicidal person, but if someone (especially a friend) approaches you in such a marginalized mindset, one needs to proceed as if they are dealing with a someone of marginalized thinking.

      And proceed with the full realization that essentially they are being “asked for their permission” as a child would ask a parent. You need to be the adult and voice that you don’t think this is a good solution; and then perhaps help guide them to a more sensible solution.

      Otherwise, a degree of culpability should be assessed upon someone being an active accessory to the suicide of another.

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  9. griz 2 years ago

    While there COULD be the rare exception, people who are considering “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” are not thinking clearly. It is by this verdict that one can lawfully commit a suicidal person to professional care to protect them from themselves.

    Encouraging a terminal solution to someone in such a psychologically fragile state could easily be assessed as culpability. The victim’s drive is what led to this and would have without her endorsing it. But it might have had a very different outcome had she not endorsed it; had advised some kind of psychological intervention; or even offered to accompany them and stand by their side.

    Without knowing more, this sounds like something akin to being an accessory to someone’s untimely death. A maximum of 20 years simply means this is the worst-case scenario. A sensitive judge might find that the same social message could be delivered with much shorter sentence.

    Remembering that I believe that “justice” is not just about punishing bad behavior, but steering good behavior. Like it or not, this is NOT just about the accused but about the society. A small prison term for this one case might help guard the lives of many suicidal people who go looking for endorsement/affirmation of a terminal resolution from a friend and find them less likely to say, “Yea, if that’s what you want then do it!”.

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    • Jear77 2 years ago

      My question is this: how (or why) should you be held criminally responsible for something that A) a person might do anyways even if encouraged not to (maybe they weren’t suicidal enough that day, but the next day was worse and they needed no encouragement at that day) B) hereto before this point such things could not be considered illegal (i.e. it creates what is legally known as a precedent) — basically this is lawmaking in retrospect C) [relevant to the christian belief] if death is a GOOD thing, it’d simply bring them “home” to heaven early, provided the person in question was a believer.

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      • griz 2 years ago

        There’s a partial answer in jurisprudence where awareness of someone’s intent to commit a crime and doing something to assist them in this makes one “an accessory” to the crime. Even if the crime might still have happened without that person’s assist.
        (And one still sees in rare persons of un-seared conscience, them seeing themselves as contributors even if they are aware and did nothing).

        Also, as more evidence is released to the public consider that the judge did clearly state she was not being held accountable for the actions of another, but her own actions.

        Consider too that apparently the victim’s self-preservation instinct kicked in and he exited the fume-filled car and she taunted him back in.

        For a Christian a death is not nearly the tragedy it is for “the world of flesh”. But life is a precious thing and not to be thrown away needlessly.

        That is why suicide is called a permanent solution to a short-term problem; and why there is still legal precedent for relieving them temporarily of their rights for the sake of protecting them from their temporary state of mind.

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  10. luftballooneyegouge 2 years ago

    I think in a Hitchcock twist the dude got revenge on a girl that wouldn’t give him what he really wanted or needed.

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