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Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by unionfalls, Mar 20, 2014.

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  1. unionfalls

    unionfalls Well-Known Member


    This is a current case in Minnesota,USA that has gone to my States Supreme Court, where the conviction by the lower court was overturned as not aiding suicide. It has been sent back to the lower court for consideration as assisting suicide. The Supreme Courts problem with the law appears to be the language of "aiding" but not "assisting". I am not a lawyer, and I do not understand the difference of these words. Here is the Minnesota State Statue


    I do not understand how this is not conviction, according to my states Supreme Court. I also do not understand that the lower court would only sentence 360 days for aiding Depressed/Vulnerable people to commit suicide. In my state anything under a year sentence is not prison, he would get workhouse time and eventually house arrest for less than a year for intentionally getting two people to commit suicide. This is from the article, this really has angered me.

    "Evidence in the Melchert-Dinkel case showed he was obsessed with suicide and sought out depressed people online. When he found them, he posed as a suicidal female nurse, feigning compassion and offering step-by-step instructions on how they could kill themselves.
    Melchert-Dinkel told police he did it for the “thrill of the chase.” According to court documents, he acknowledged participating in online chats about suicide with up to 20 people and entering into fake suicide pacts with about 10, five of whom he believed killed themselves.
    He was convicted in the deaths of Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ontario, and Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England. Kajouji jumped into a frozen river in 2008, and Drybrough hanged himself in 2005.
    He was sentenced to 360 days in jail, but that was put on hold and he has remained free while the appeal was pending."

    This is a link to the full article by Amy Forliti of the Associated Press, this is from the Washington Post


    local CBS affiliate is essentially the same article (This is were I originally read this story)


    Wanted to ask others members view on this. I think this guy should be convicted for a few reasons but this part of the case is very disturbing. Not sure how someone being deceitful, and with physical harm/death intended, can not be convicted as he clearly tries to push vulnerable people over the edge for his "thrill". Even with the law being questionable, I would think this would be covered under existing laws for manslaughter.
    609.205 MANSLAUGHTER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.(Minnesota Statues)


    A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both:
    (1) by the person's culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another; or

    I apologize for all of the info here, I know it is a lot and was unsure if I should post it. It is stuck in my head and was hoping for others opinions on this. It really angers me that someone would do this for amusement and not have any severe repercussions under law. I do not consider 360 days a reasonable conviction if it even is eventually upheld. Maybe I am too naive but I really can not see how intentional deceit/falsifying ones intentions and offering harmful, resulting in death, advice/methods is not illegal/criminal. One thing to advocate for assisted suicide with honesty, if that is truly your belief, it is not mine. This is different though that he, by the way this is a he that posed as a she, did this for his "thrill". Do we really have the personal right to convince others to die, through deceit, as well as instruct them on how to, for personal "thrills"? Should this be protected under the first amendment of free speech which is what the defense is claiming/arguing? To do something like this is so wrong, and on so many levels. I am very angry about this and am hoping for some members thoughts/opinions on this. Thank you for reading all this, and I apologize if it caused you any distress, that is not my intent. What are Your Thoughts about this.
    -Thanks Jeff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  2. Liquid Jello

    Liquid Jello Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    thanks for posting. what an odd, situation. the guy aiding/assisting others to commit suicide "for the chase of it" is of course utterly deplorable. and I really don't understand the court's ruling.
  3. unionfalls

    unionfalls Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    The actual Supreme Court Opinion and facts of the trial is about 30 pages. I did find in this document that the defendant was also trying to get people to film their suicide so he could watch them die. This so makes me angry, I just can not believe someone would do this to anyone that is vulnerable. I can not believe the Supreme Court and the State could not convict him due to his first amendment rights of free speech.

    Had to edit, to much detail on methods, sorry-Jeff
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  4. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    The reason for problems with convictions sometimes is as simple as lack of case law precedent as well as lack of a law specifically addressing it. While many laws could "apply" they all required interpretation, and without a higher court ever having made a ruling their is little that can be used to base it on. Things like this are how new laws covering new crimes get made.

    I am glad that they are looking at these things and taking them to trial and that the laws are finally getting looked at to address these. Cyber bullying cyber harassment are laws in many jurisdictions now, cyber assist to murder or intent to make others harm self will be on the way. Thankfully in time people that do this that are just plain sick and psychotics like this case , as well as even the "trolls" that find stupid stuff amusing when intentionally inflicting pain on others, are being looked fo r, found and prosecuted and the laws will continue to get more stringent.

    This also should serve as a very very strong reminder to all here and all that use any internet sites - you do not know who you are talking to - you do not know what the motivation is behind their advice. Be smart and be careful. Do not share personal information with people until you have known them an extended amount of time - not facebook or skype or cell phone. You have no way of knowing who the person really is or what they actually want. You may think you can trust your instincts , but these people have multiple accounts on different places and have practiced their lying and deception for months and years.
  5. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    I feel for the families that lost their child or family member because this killer was let go only to harm others again
  6. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    Obviously this guy is a disturbing individual and I wouldn't mind seeing him locked up, but what about site like this: <link removed> which don't encourage suicide, do encourage you to live and seek help, but also do provide information about methods for the truly determined? Personally, I don't mind that approach.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  7. unionfalls

    unionfalls Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    Xaos, sites that mention/describe methods are not helpful for those suffering from these mental disorders. I am pro-life, I know my thinking is illogical/harmful and that with the proper support I may overcome these illogical/harmful thoughts. The pain and suffering I feel is unbearable at times, but I can not give into that. Of course, there are others that suffer because of others actions and behavior towards them. We call them rapists, domestic abusers, and so on. Is that not what this man has done? I think he is in the same criminal category as that, and deserves, should be, punished by law.

    They do have a place in sharing information, for certain reasons, but not for trying to overcome or successfully work on my illness. I understand though, I found SF from that site. I do not see how it is helpful, or logical, for one that is determined to commit suicide to be given help for a condition that may be overcome, helped. The hurt, pain ,and sorrow I feel is unbearable sometimes, but I hope no one actively helps me to die. That is not free speech in my mind. One of the persons that did commit suicide because of this man was 18, did she really have the opportunity to explore all avenues of help before coming across that man? If she had found that site and was able to commit suicide because of it, is it still free speech?
    Does free speech trump are rights to personal protection, emotional and physical?
  8. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    I haven't disagreed with you WRT the man going to prison, he's clearly a sick individual, like I said "I wouldn't mind seeing him locked up".

    And no, I'm not one of those who believes in unbridled free speech, I hate bullying and hate speech and am extremely pleased that there are laws against it, though I do wish they were more heavily enforced.

    I'd just prefer it if people who have spent years and years in depression would have the option to end there life after they've tried all other options to improve their situation. If my life doesn't get fixed by the time my father dies, which doesn't seem likely, I'd like to be able to end it as painlessly as possible and am glad to know the methods.
  9. unionfalls

    unionfalls Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    I apologize Xaos, I was wrong with the tone of my reply to your post. I am thankful that you and others have shared their opinions and thoughts about this.

    My main problem with this is that in this case this man, and my State Supreme Court agrees, that US first amendment right of free speech does protect his/our right to “advise” and “encourage” vulnerable people, depressed people, to commit suicide. Also, it so decided that this may be done while using deceitful tactics. It seems most agree this is despicable, but is part of our free speech protections in the US. I disagree with this assessment by my States Supreme Court, I do believe under law that this as a criminal act.
    I am still mulling over NYJumpMasters take on this and can see the validity of the problems involved in this law and case.

    Thank you again Xaos, and I do apologize, I really do appreciate your thoughts and take on this matter
  10. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    I trust this man will reap the rewards for his actions. If I were to rely on human justice I would be disappointed. As it is; I don't expect fair justice through corrupted systems.

  11. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Re: Intentionally Convincing Depressed People to commit suicide is Not a Criminal Act

    No need to apologize :)
  12. Aquarius123

    Aquarius123 Well-Known Member

    I believe that ailing to know something never was a protection against the consequences of any of our actions. For each one of us there does come the time when the deeds of all our lifetimes have to be faced, dealt with and redeemed, by none other than us. Even for as long as a soul does remain in the darkness of spiritual ignorance, any pain and suffering inflicted upon not only human beings and animals, but also to the Earth herself, are bound to weigh heavily in the scales of God’s eternal justice.

    Yet, God is merciful. The living God within knows and appreciates us and our heart and soul’s struggle much better than our small earthly self ever could. When one finally becomes aware that God is part of us, one no longer needs to kid oneself into thinking that God’s justice is blind or unfair. That’s what earthly justice may well be at times and when it is, don’t ever be tempted to think that you have got away with what you did. Our God or Highest Self never sleeps. At all times it is wide awake inside us, ever ready to guide and protect us, even when we are sleeping and dreaming, maybe especially then.

    Though it takes a long time, eventually every soul reawakens to the understanding of its true nature and an appreciation of spiritual wisdom and truths. Until we do, we can only walk in the darkness of our self-chosen prison of ignorance and suffer from the consequences of our immature thoughts, words and actions. Our spirit once chose this existence because it wanted to learn about life in physicality and grow through its experiences, which each can only do on their own. It is comforting to know that in the fullness of time all of us are eventually directed into discovering the first rays of genuine enlightenment. Guided and protected by God and the Angels, every spirit and soul has to walk this way alone – it cannot be done any other way.

    Trying as this is, those who have found a measure of spiritual knowledge and wisdom, the wise ones, have every reason to be patient with the many younger souls, who still abound in our midst. They are providing us, the older and more experienced souls, with vital tests that reveal how much we thus far have grasped the nettle of one of the greatest lessons of love. It consists of showing tolerance and respect towards all life and all lifeforms. No matter how small, lowly or insignificant someone may appear to be on the surface of life, all are equally loved and appreciated by the Great Father/Mother of all life, including us and our own lives.
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