Twisted

Man Guilty of Urging Suicide

A Minnesota judge found William Melchert-Dinkel guilty of two counts of aiding suicide after he sought out depressed people on the Internet and urged them to kill themselves. Melchert-Dinkel’s lawyers tried to argue that his actions were protected as free speech, but the judge threw out the argument: "Melchert-Dinkel was not merely expressing ideas about suicide. The court finds that defendant's speech imminently incited the victims to commit suicide, and can be described as 'lethal advocacy,' which is analogous to the category of unprotected speech known as 'fighting words' and 'imminent incitement of lawlessness,’” the judge wrote. Melchert-Dinkel could face up to 15 years in prison, but his lawyers will appeal the ruling.