by Amy Forliti, Associated Press, July 17, 2012
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed the convictions of a former nurse who scanned online chat rooms for suicidal people then, feigning compassion, gave a British man and a young woman in Canada instructions on how to kill themselves.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 49, of Faribault, acknowledged that what he did was morally wrong but argued he had merely exercised his right to free speech and that the Minnesota law used to convict him in 2011 of aiding suicide was unconstitutional.
The appeals court disagreed, saying the First Amendment does not bar the state from prosecuting someone for "instructing (suicidal people on) how to kill themselves and coaxing them to do so."