HASTINGS, Minn. (March 23, 2013)—Minnesota Judge Karen Asphaug has dismissed charges against Thomas Goodwin, the former head of a national right-to-die group accused in the death of an Apple Valley woman.
Asphaug ruled Minnesota's law against advising suicide is unconstitutionally overbroad and dismissed charges against Goodwin, the 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 say 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.