Suicide fetish vs free speech

jumped into a river in 2008.


[image-1]During the trial Kajouji's mother provided chat logs between her daughter and Melchert-Dinkel which detailed his insistence that she hang herself instead of drown. He had made a suicide pact with both people and wanted to be online with them at the time of their deaths. To manipulate his victims, Melchert-Dinkel faked sympathy while simultaneously providing instructions on how to commit the act:  "Most important is the placement of the noose on the neck... knot behind the left ear and rope across the carotid is very important."


Melchert-Dinkel's lawyer argued that while his client's behavior was reprehensible, it was protected by the First Amendment. However, the judge reasoned that Melchert-Dinkel's speech was unprotected as it  "imminently incited the victims to commit suicide."


Read more and watch a BBC news report on Dinkel at nydailynews.com


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What should be done with people who hide behind online aliases as a means of encouraging psychologically vulnerable people to commit suicide? No doubt those who derive a fetishistic pleasure from convincing others to end their life are depraved, but is their coaxing criminal or is it protected by the First Amendment?

William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, got his thrills cruising chat rooms in the guise of a female nurse, and sparking relationships with depressed people. While it's impossible to know how many people Melchert-Dinkel coaxed to commit suicide, or even how many people he assisted in the act during his time working at a Minnesota nursing home, he was convicted yesterday of assisting in at least two deaths: Mark Drybrough, 32, of England, hanged himself in 2005, and Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Ontario,

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