August 23, 2014
HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota judge has dismissed charges against the former head of a national right-to-die group accused in the death of an Apple Valley woman.
Judge Karen Asphaug ruled Minnesota's law against advising suicide is unconstitutionally overboard. She dismissed charges against Thomas Goodwin, former president of Final Exit Network.
Last year, four members of the group were charged in the 2007 death of Doreen Dunn, who killed herself in her home. Prosecutors said the defendants provided Dunn with information and support to follow through with her suicide.
Final Exit members claim they do not encourage suicide, but that the act of giving information and emotional support could be interpreted as "encouraging" under Minnesota's assisted-suicide law. They claim the law is unconstitutional because it violates a person's right to freedom of speech.
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