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Former Boston College student admits role in convincing her boyfriend to kill himself by jumping off a Northeastern garage

Inyoung You, now 23, today admitted she helped drive her boyfriend Alexander Urtula to suicide the day he was supposed to graduate from Boston College in 2019, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

After You pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter at a Suffolk Superior Court hearing, Judge Robert Ullmann sentenced her to 2 1/2 years in jail - but suspended that for a 10-year period of probation, the DA's office says. During the first five years of that probation, she will have to do community service and continue to undergo mental-health treatment. She is also barred from making any money from selling her or Urtula's story.

On May 20, 2019, just 90 minutes before the start of commencement at BC, Urtula threw himself off of the top of Northeastern University's Renaissance Garage on Columbus Avenue, the culmination of what prosecutors called a "tumultuous" relationship in which Urtula became severely depressed and You began encouraging him to commit suicide.

After widespread publicity about the case, two other people committed suicide at the Renaissance the garage that year - one a mother who jumped with her two children, who also died.

After the deaths, Northeastern installed floor-to-ceiling fencing on all of the garage's floors.


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Sexism, plain and simple. She kills a man and she gets 10 months probation? If the gender roles were reversed and a man tormented a woman mercilessly until she finally killed herself in despair would the sentence be similarly lenient? The sentencing in this case is outrageous.

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The only two cases in Massachusetts of this specific nature that come immediately to mind are this one and Michelle Carter.

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you have to pretend that men and women are equally likely to be charged for a crime like this to begin with. i realize that it is inherently difficult to prove that men are *not* charged with this kind of harassment, but we hear about it from women so very often.

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That may not seem satisfactory either, but it’s not nothing.

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What's offensive is prosecutors using existing manslaughter laws the way that they are, and judges and juries are going along with it. Encouraging suicide is not manslaughter or murder. If you kill yourself, then that's your own doing.

If the legislature wants to make it criminal to encourage suicide, then they can do that by enacting a new law. But they haven't yet. For years they've had a bill which would do that, but it hasn't passed the legislature yet.

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… ensure that medical professionals are not prosecuted for advising or assisting suicide? In the event that we allow that choice in the future?
That would be my concern.
Otherwise, I totally agree with you.

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Physician-assisted suicide was and still is a whole Thing. (Specifically: What happens if a physician provides the necessary materials? And then, what happens if the patient is too physically incapacitated to put everything together and administer it?)

But I'm pretty sure there's no need for physicians to *advise* someone to commit suicide; that's a choice the patient can make for themselves when the physician says "there's nothing more we can do except palliative care".

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Existing laws? That's a pretty funny thing to say since Involuntary Manslaughter in MA is a Common Law crime, not a statutory one --- there is no definition of it in law in the first place (just some provision for punishment, IIRC). The definition exists entirely in court rulings, and those are consistent with this sort of case.

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How can the court ordered probation be enforced?

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She agreed to come back here for the criminal proceedings.

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