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In Massachusetts, a woman was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter charge after she encouraged her boyfriend by text messages to follow through on his suicide. The law is very similar in California.

California also defines involuntary manslaughter as an act that was not intended to cause the death of a person but was committed in such a careless way that a death of the other person occurred. It is defined as an act “without due caution” in California. Another example could be where a worker dies due to a dangerous condition in the workplace, that the owner was aware of.

That raises the question whether bullying, if it causes a person to kill him/herself, should be considered manslaughter. While it varies from state to state, there are states that followed through on such charges. However, there are questions like, whether the person who committed suicide did so only because of bullying or there were other factors and how much individual choice should be ascribed to the suicidal person.

The issue is not easy to resolve and remains a concern, especially with cyber bullying on the rise. If you or a loved one is in a similar situation, a criminal defense attorney will defend your rights to the full extent of the law. Seek legal help right away.

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Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks.

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