LMU Law Review

Death Sentence: A Compendium Against Assailment

John Serafine

Getting people to kill themselves is the oldest trick in the book. There ought to be a constitutional law against it. This Article proposes one.

“Assailment” means asking, telling, or tempting a person under the age of eighteen to attempt or complete suicide. It also includes extorting or blackmailing a child into suicidal behavior. Such a law is necessary because of the skyrocketing rate of youth suicide.

Death Sentence: A Compendium Against Assailment encourages lawmakers to enact an assailment statute. It further tells the stories of 41 completed youth suicides, 15 attempts, and 8 cases of suicidal ideation. The rigors of strict scrutiny demand such depth. See United States v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. 709, 725 (2012) (requiring a direct causal link between a restriction on speech and the injury to be prevented).