Is Telling Someone To Commit Suicide A Crime?

Published 03/19 2014 06:02PM

Updated 03/19 2014 07:21PM

A Minnesota man was convicted two years ago of assisted suicide after he sought out depressed people on line and tried to convince them to commit suicide.
Two people did.
So was this conviction a violation of the man's free speech or a criminal act?

Though this happened in Minnesota, people in Erie and around the country were talking about this.

The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned William Dinkel’s conviction, saying what he did was not criminal.

Dinkel would get on the internet, looking for depressed people. He would then pose as a female suicidal nurse and enter into a suicide pact, trying to convince the people to kill themselves.

He also suggested ways to go about it and reportedly wanted to watch the suicide.

Two people did end up taking their own lives.

Dinkel was convicted of assisted suicide, but his attorney said the law in Minnesota was too vague and it was a violation of Dinkel’s free speech.

The court ruled that encouraging people to commit suicide was legal, but assisting in their suicide was illegal.

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