William Melchert-Dinkel again claims free speech right in online suicide case

William Melchert-Dinkel really is an odious character, and he knows it.

He's already admitted to being morally bankrupt for trolling the Internet and encouraging people to kill themselves. He's been sentenced to a year behind bars.

But the lawyer for this former nurse and Internet troll has filed notice that his client intends to appeal his sentence by arguing that he's not a criminal.

Furthermore, he insists he has a free speech right to do what he did.

The judge who heard the case, and sentenced him, has already dismantled that argument: "Speech that directly encourages and imminently incites the act of suicide ... falls outside the protection of the First Amendment," Rice County District Judge Thomas Neuville wrote.

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."

But Melchert-Dinkel thinks he's a free speech hero anyway. And he beat the deadline for appealing his case by one day.


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