The trial of Michelle Carter, the now 20-year-old who is charged with involuntary manslaughter for texting her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, that he should commit suicide has commenced.

About three years ago, Carter exchanged disturbing text messages pressuring Roy to commit suicide in his truck in Fairhaven — 60 miles south of Boston. Carter waived her right to jury trial on Monday.

Executive Director of the ACLU for Massachusetts, Carol Rose, joined Boston Public Radio to discuss what the after effects of this case could be.

“The criminal law is the most blunt instrument we have," Rose said. "Accusing someone of manslaughter? That's a huge punishment, and the power of the state is very strong in that moment and we just need to be careful that when that is wielded that we don't wield it in a way that creates unintended consequences."

Massachusetts is one of only eleven states that doesn't have a statute criminalizing assisted suicide. Rose stressed that Judge Lawrence Moniz will need to be careful in his opinion at the end of the trial.

“Here’s the thing, manslaughter involves killing someone, and the prosecution really has to prove that Ms. Carter’s words killed her boyfriend and that’s a pretty tall order," Rose said. "My concern is that depending on how the decision is rendered — what the actual reasoning of the judge is in this case. We hope that the judge is able to have a very narrow opinion and not create a law that would actually criminalize analogous situations,."

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview with Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts