Assisting Suicide Court Reversal 20 Mar 14

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed the convictions of a former nurse from Faribault convicted of encouraging two people online to take their own lives. The attorney for 51-year-old William Melchert-Dinkel says it was a matter of free speech. Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster argues the founding fathers likely didn’t design the First Amendment to be a device to aid suicide. The high court ruled that the language in the state’s assisted-suicide law is unconstitutional when it comes to “encouraging” suicides. But it found the part of the law that bans “assisting” suicide is constitutional. The case now returns to a lower district court to determine whether Melchert-Dinkel “assisted” in the suicides.