The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a former nurse who advised several people to commit suicide over the Internet.
The court struck down part of a state law that prohibits "encouraging" or "advising" people to take their own lives, saying that is free speech protected by the First Amendment. The court left in place the part of the law that bans actually "assisting" someone with suicide.
William Melchert-Dinkel admitted to posing as a suicidal woman in Internet conversations with several people. He was sentenced to a year in prison after two of those people — one in Canada, the other in England — killed themselves on his advice.
Melchert-Dinkel's attorney Terry Watkins spoke with MPR News' Steven John about the ruling. Click on the audio link above to hear the conversation.