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Direckshun
06-08-2010, 10:44 PM
I'll even set up a poll.

There's a story making the rounds right now that there was a dude in England who, via online chatrooms, was coaching and instructing people into committing suicide. He had succeeded with 11, from different points all over the world. I'll post a link when I find the story.

He's since been arrested.

The question here, I guess, is whether this guy's conversations count as free speech, or if coaching/encouraging/advising people to commit suicide -- and then they do it -- should be protected by free speech.

Leave aside the international issues. Just pretend this issue happened here in the ol' US of A and thus is being considered under the First Amendment.

Thoughts.

Direckshun
06-08-2010, 10:46 PM
The story.

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-suicide-nurse,0,5453428.story

Nurse Accused of Assisting Suicides Over the Internet
Police say he confessed to offering suicide method advice, such as medications and rope-tying techniques.
KTLA News
3:49 PM PDT, June 8, 2010

FARIBAULT, Minn. -- A former nurse accused of going online and encouraging depressed people to kill themselves has been ordered to stay off the Internet while his criminal case is pending.

William Melchert-Dinkel is charged with 2 counts of assisted suicide.

The married father of two is accused of coaxing 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji of Canada and a British man, 32-year-old Mark Drybrough, to commit suicide.

Police say he met both in online suicide chat rooms.

Mark Drybrough hanged himself in his apartment.

His sister, who found the body, said she also found e-mails from Melchert-Dinkel on Drybrough's computer.

"You can easily hang from a door ..." Melchert-Dinkel allegedly wrote in one message.

Nadia Kajouji jumped off a bridge and was found six weeks later.

According to court documents, Melchert-Dinkel admitted to police he had made online suicide pacts with 10 or 11 individuals located all over the world.

He would go on chat rooms under the aliases “cami,” “Li Dao” or “falcon_girl,” and introduce himself as a female nurse.

Police say he confessed to touting his medical background, while offering suicide method advice, such as medications and rope-tying techniques.

The criminal complaint said he told investigators he encouraged "dozens" of people to commit suicide and "characterized it as the thrill of the chase."

He also estimated he had actually helped up to five people kill themselves.

Minnesota authorities began investigating in March 2008 when an anti-suicide activist in Britain alerted them that someone in the state was using the internet to manipulate people into killing themselves.

That woman, Celia Blay, 65, first tried to persuade police in her own country to pursue Melchert-Dinkel, but charges were never filed.

Melchert-Dinkel worked at various hospitals and nursing homes over the years, and was cited several times for neglect and being rough with patients, according to the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

Melchert-Dinkel faces 30 years in prison if convicted.

He is due back in court June 29.

HonestChieffan
06-08-2010, 10:52 PM
KCNitwit tells people to kill themselves all the time. He goes on Bulletin Boards and professes to know everything.

He is safe cause no one listens to him.

BucEyedPea
06-08-2010, 11:21 PM
It's being an accomplice to a homicide.

Taco John
06-08-2010, 11:26 PM
It's being an accomplice to a homicide.

I suppose that depends on your view of the right to die.

I don't particularly see the free speech issue here. Is he trying to make a first amendment defense? Even still, he'd be at odds with any laws on the books prohibiting suicide as an accessory to the crime.

HolyHandgernade
06-08-2010, 11:46 PM
It's being an accomplice to a homicide.

I believe homicide is the "killing of another human being" whereas the self destruction is "suicide". So, you can't be an accomplice to an act that hasn't been committed. I suppose, if you want to get creative, you could argue the person has committed some type of homicide, but, technically, the person would be an accomplice to a suicide if the suicide was genuinely of the person's own motivation.

HolyHandgernade
06-08-2010, 11:55 PM
I'll even set up a poll.

There's a story making the rounds right now that there was a dude in England who, via online chatrooms, was coaching and instructing people into committing suicide. He had succeeded with 11, from different points all over the world. I'll post a link when I find the story.

He's since been arrested.

The question here, I guess, is whether this guy's conversations count as free speech, or if coaching/encouraging/advising people to commit suicide -- and then they do it -- should be protected by free speech.

Leave aside the international issues. Just pretend this issue happened here in the ol' US of A and thus is being considered under the First Amendment.

Thoughts.

It depends on how the state views suicide. If suicide is viewed as a crime, then advising someone how to commit a crime can be prosecuted. But, if one is indirectly explaining how to commit suicide (such as song lyrics, or casual conversation), then that act is legal under free speech.

-HH

ClevelandBronco
06-08-2010, 11:56 PM
Obviously details are lacking, but it sounds to me as though this guy is doing the online equivalent of yelling "jump" to a guy on a ledge. The guy sounds like an asshole, not a criminal.

Discuss Thrower
06-09-2010, 12:08 AM
If you entice someone into suicide, is it a crime in itself (like urging someone to jump, pull the trigger, hand them the bowl of antifreeze), manslaughter, or some sort of harassment thing?

donkhater
06-09-2010, 06:14 AM
How is this different than bullying someone verbally and driving them to suicide? The same precendants should matter IMO.

InChiefsHell
06-09-2010, 06:50 AM
Is it still illegal to assist someone in committing suicide? If so, you have no "freedom of speech" where this is concerned, you are aiding them which is illegal.

InChiefsHell
06-09-2010, 06:51 AM
How is this different than bullying someone verbally and driving them to suicide? The same precendants should matter IMO.

I guess it depends on your intention. Did you MEAN for them to kill themselves...of course, if you didn't then I suppose some would argue for Involuntary Manslaughter or something...but at the end of the day, the person who kills themselves bears some responsibility here...

BigChiefFan
06-09-2010, 07:13 AM
He absolutely has the right to say it, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't face consequences if he's encouraging HARM to others.

Freedom of Speech isn't his violation. Actions detrimental to others is.

Brainiac
06-09-2010, 07:16 AM
I don't see how this is a free speech issue at all.

The first amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

I'm not an attorney, but I always thought that the right of free speech deals primarily with preventing the government from going after people who criticize the government. Is my definition too narrow?

I think all we have here is a douchebag encouraging people to kill themselves, and I don't see how that can be construed as constitutionally-protected free speech.

Brainiac
06-09-2010, 07:18 AM
He absolutely has the right to say it, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't face consequences if he's encouraging HARM to others.

Freedom of Speech isn't his violation. Actions detrimental to others is.
I don't believe anybody asked if freedom of speech was his violation. The question is whether or not freedom of speech protects him from consequences.

BucEyedPea
06-09-2010, 07:20 AM
I believe homicide is the "killing of another human being" whereas the self destruction is "suicide". So, you can't be an accomplice to an act that hasn't been committed. I suppose, if you want to get creative, you could argue the person has committed some type of homicide, but, technically, the person would be an accomplice to a suicide if the suicide was genuinely of the person's own motivation.

Suicide is a homicide. It's just self homicide. "-cide" means to kill. The "sui" part comes from Latin meaning "of one self." "hom" comes from Latin meaning homo,human being. Infanticide, genocide, insectiside........all just forms of killing.

Just look it up.

If one kills oneself they kill oneself. Someone assisting it is a party to the act. I see it no different than assisted suicide which is a crime. It's no longer just a suicide at that point. It's something else. I don't consider that a natural right. If someone wants to kill themselves, they should do themself and not entice others into a crime. I can see this leading to abuse if there is no clear proof it was really a suicide. However, this thread is not about one having a right to death, it's about speech. This is not protected speech which let's face it, was meant by our Framers to protect political speech.

BigChiefFan
06-09-2010, 07:24 AM
I don't believe anybody asked if freedom of speech was his violation. The question is whether or not freedom of speech protects him from consequences.

You're all over the place with your questioning of me. You first said it wasn't a freedom of speech violation...I said,
"He absolutely has the right to say it, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't face consequences if he's encouraging HARM to others.

Freedom of Speech isn't his violation. Actions detrimental to others is."

Same fucking thing. If you question me, you question yourself.:rolleyes:

BucEyedPea
06-09-2010, 07:25 AM
I suppose that depends on your view of the right to die.

I don't particularly see the free speech issue here. Is he trying to make a first amendment defense? Even still, he'd be at odds with any laws on the books prohibiting suicide as an accessory to the crime.

Well that's another ball of wax, one I am not certain I agree with as being a natural right. ( one reason I am not a libertarian )

Definitely not a free speech issue though....and it does run afoul breaking other laws.

Hydrae
06-09-2010, 07:40 AM
What about a site that shows how to build an IED? If it is used to build an IED that is used by a terrorist in the middle east, are the site operators liable?

Rain Man
06-09-2010, 08:42 AM
If it's not free speech, then we'd have to stop telling people to stab themselves in the face with a knife or die in a fire. You'd have to start drawing lines between satire and serious, and it would get messy real fast.

I could see a person getting arrested as being an "accessory to suicide" or some such thing (have no idea how that law works), but it's not a free speech issue in my opinion.

healthpellets
06-09-2010, 09:45 AM
it's not a free speech issue for starters.

really just depends on if a particular state classifies suicide as a crime (which, imo, is silly).

InChiefsHell
06-09-2010, 09:52 AM
it's not a free speech issue for starters.

really just depends on if a particular state classifies suicide as a crime (which, imo, is silly).

I don't think they can call it a crime, since the person committing the crime can't be punished...but aiding someone to do it is a crime, right or wrong.

Hydrae
06-09-2010, 10:57 AM
I don't think they can call it a crime, since the person committing the crime can't be punished...but aiding someone to do it is a crime, right or wrong.

They do call it a crime and if you fail at killing yourself, they can prosecute you. At least that is my understanding.

BucEyedPea
06-09-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't think they can call it a crime, since the person committing the crime can't be punished...but aiding someone to do it is a crime, right or wrong.

Yup! That's how I see it once it involves another. I can see decriminalizing suicide because if one is successful at it there's no one to prosecute. If they survive, well it's really a cry for help and why wouldn't someone help them?
If they're ill and wanna die, well, I say there's a natural right to life and a natural right to death—meaning you go naturally not by someone assisting you. Leaves too much room for abuse which doesn't protect the others.

HolyHandgernade
06-12-2010, 01:38 AM
Suicide is a homicide. It's just self homicide. "-cide" means to kill. The "sui" part comes from Latin meaning "of one self." "hom" comes from Latin meaning homo,human being. Infanticide, genocide, insectiside........all just forms of killing.

Just look it up.

Well, OK. We are talking about legalities, right, not Latin roots? From the legal dictionary:

The killing of one human being by another human being.

From Nolo:

The killing of one human being by the act or omission of another. The term applies to all such killings, whether criminal or not. Homicide is noncriminal in a number of situations, including deaths as the result of war and putting someone to death by the valid sentence of a court. Killing may also be legally justified or excused, as it is in cases of self-defense or when someone is killed by another person who is attempting to prevent a violent felony. Criminal homicide occurs when a person purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or with extreme negligence causes the death of another. Murder and manslaughter are examples of criminal homicide.

From Duhamie:

The act or omission of one human being, which ends the life of another.

dictionary.com:

The killing of a human being, committed by another.

Legal-Explantions.com:

(n) Homicide is the unnatural ending of the life of a person by an act or omission of another person or persons knowingly or otherwise. A homicide becomes a criminal act when it was done with a motive or intention to harm or with a reckless disregard of the safety of others. Suicide is a self executed homicide

I actually haven't come to one definition yet that linked suicide (not suicide bombing which has another intended target) to homicide. I admit, I got bored after the first google page, so maybe somebody does, but the common theme, for legal purposes, is that homicide occurs against "another", not the "self".

BucEyedPea
06-12-2010, 08:26 AM
Uh hmmm. No we're talking about words having a meaning. Which is why I don't engage you.

HolyHandgernade
06-12-2010, 09:23 AM
Uh hmmm. No we're talking about words having a meaning. Which is why I don't engage you.

You mean, after this post? Alright, since you want to get snippy about it, I'll show you why you are wrong about your Latin as well.

Suicide is a homicide. It's just self homicide. "-cide" means to kill. The "sui" part comes from Latin meaning "of one self." "hom" comes from Latin meaning homo,human being. Infanticide, genocide, insectiside........all just forms of killing.

Now, while "cide" does mean "to kill", the prefix "hom" isn't automatically added on to it becoming the "parent" word for all types of "cide", so "homicide" is different from "insecticide" the same way it is different from "suicide". You see, even in your own explanation you seem to blend a step in your logic. You correctly separated the root forms and then make the illogical conclusion one combination is a form of the other. Obviously, insecticide is not a form of homicide.

Further, when you combine these words in Latin, they have to make sense, not just some jumbled word root definitions, thus:

homi-cide = human killing or "killing a human", implying "one killing a human" or "another"

sui-cide = self killing or "killing a self", implying "one killing one's self"

They are both types of "cide" not both types of "homicide", as you would have a case of redundancy. You make the jump because generally we only apply suicide to human beings since we cannot really divine the intentions of animals, or you initially misused the word homicide when you meant "murder", since, of course, not all homicide is illegal.

-HH

2bikemike
06-12-2010, 09:51 AM
He absolutely has the right to say it, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't face consequences if he's encouraging HARM to others.

Freedom of Speech isn't his violation. Actions detrimental to others is.

+1 Its like hollering fire in a crowded theater. The reason that isn't protected is because you cause panic and hurt others. How is this any different?

banyon
06-12-2010, 10:26 AM
If it's not free speech, then we'd have to stop telling people to stab themselves in the face with a knife or die in a fire. You'd have to start drawing lines between satire and serious, and it would get messy real fast.

I could see a person getting arrested as being an "accessory to suicide" or some such thing (have no idea how that law works), but it's not a free speech issue in my opinion.

Don't take away antifreeze!

patteeu
06-12-2010, 11:33 AM
Obviously details are lacking, but it sounds to me as though this guy is doing the online equivalent of yelling "jump" to a guy on a ledge. The guy sounds like an asshole, not a criminal.

No offense to the rest of you, but I liked ClevelandBronco's answer the best.