Peterson verdict - Double standard?

by chappy 23 Replies latest social current

  • chappy

    Peterson was convicted of murdering his unborn son. The law in 30+ states says that taking the life of an unborn fetus is murder. Would someone please explain how a non-human can be murdered?


  • FlyingHighNow

    It seems that if the baby is a wanted baby then it is murder and if someone doesn't want the baby and has an abortion it's not murder.

    Though I am pro-choice, I personally feel that upon conception you have a human being. If you feel an unborn baby is human, then you have a dilemma if you are making a decision whether to end a pregnancy.

  • finnrot

    lol......I thought you were referring to the OJ verdict when I read your headder.

    If you can look at the issue logically. It is, and should be the womans decision to keep or not keep the growth inside of her, it is her body after all. If she has something growing inside of her that she cherishes and wants to keep, then of course the person that murders her or her unborn baby, or both, should be tried for murder.

    So simple...


  • czarofmischief

    Are we sure that Laci wanted the baby?


  • Angharad

    I'm not sure of the laws but I beleive she was at a very late stage in the pregnancy where if the baby had been born it would have lived, so I would agree, it was murdered.

    non-human can be murdered

    BTW: Why do you describe a nearly full term baby a non human?

  • Scully

    A woman who doesn't want her baby doesn't decorate a room for the baby... she doesn't pick out a name for the baby... or find out whether she is having a girl or a boy.

  • gypsywildone

    It would seem that Lacy's baby was advanced enough that he would have been able to breath air on his own, had he been outside the womb.

  • blondie
    It would seem that Lacy's baby was advanced enough that he would have been able to breath air on his own, had he been outside the womb.

    Here's a good summary of the issues.

    Fetal Homicide Laws - What You Need to Know

    From Nikki Katz,Your Guide to Women's Issues.

    Discover the history, facts and arguments for fetal homicide laws.


      Fetal Homicide Laws: Do fetal homicide laws limit mothers' rights? Are they just an agenda by the pro-life movement to end abortion? Or are they laws to support the fetus of a woman who hoped to carry the baby to full term?


      Historically, a fetus was not recognized as a legal entity separate from the pregnant woman. In fact, abortion was generally not illegal until the latter half of the 1800s, when many states enacted laws criminalizing the procedure.

      Many states have recently enacted fetal homicide laws, which create a separate crime for actions taken against a woman that result in the death of - or harm to - her fetus. These laws treat the fetus as an individual, apart from the woman. Some of these laws do not contain exceptions for the woman or her doctor, which could possibly allow criminal proceedings for measures taken as a course of treatment (radiation treatment for cancer or antibiotics) or for abortion.

      On the federal level, in 1999 the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (which does contain exceptions for the woman, her doctor, and abortion) was proposed and passed the House of Representatives.

      These states have fetal homicide laws where fetuses are victims at any stage of development:

      • AZ
      • ID
      • IL
      • LA
      • MI
      • MN
      • MO
      • ND
      • NE
      • ND
      • OH
      • PA
      • SD
      • UT
      • WI

      These states have fetal homicide laws where fetuses are victims at only specific stages in development:

      • AR
      • CA
      • FL
      • GA
      • MA
      • MS
      • NV
      • OK
      • RI
      • SC
      • TN
      • WA

      The following states criminalize certain conduct that terminates pregnancies or causes miscarriages:

      • IA
      • IN
      • KS
      • NC
      • NH
      • NM
      • VA

    Argument For Fetal Homicide Laws:

      Fetal homicide laws have been described as supporting and protecting women who decide to carry their babies to term. Those supporting these acts, most often pro-life advocates, say that both the lives of the pregnant woman and the fetus should be explicitly protected. They declare that fetal homicide laws justly criminalize cases and provide the opportunity to protect unborn children and their mothers. Some pro-lifers hope fetal homicide laws will establish a precedent that fetuses are human beings, thereby fueling efforts to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

    Argument Against Fetal Homicide Laws:

      Those against fetal homicide laws fear that laws to protect a fetus could infringe on a woman's right to choose an abortion. Pro-choice leaders say these laws grant a fetus legal status distinct from the pregnant woman - possibly creating an adversarial relationship between a woman and her baby. Those against these laws are also concerned as to whether they could be interpreted to apply to a woman's behavior during her pregnancy, such as smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs. Instead, they prefer to criminalize an assault on a pregnant woman and recognize her as the only victim.

    Current Status:

      The most recent case involving fetal homicide laws is that of the Laci Peterson homicide. Her husband, Scott Peterson was convicted in November, 2004 by a California jury. Peterson could get the death penalty for the count of first-degree murder for killing his wife and the count of second-degree murder for killing their unborn child. Lacy Peterson was in her 8th month of pregnancy when she disappeared. Under California law, murder charges can result if the fetus is older than seven weeks. To convict Peterson of murdering his unborn son, prosecutors had to prove that he intended to kill the fetus or knew that it would die as a result of his wife's death.

      There has been debate on both sides of this issue. "If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder," Morris County NOW President Mavra Stark told reporters. Marie Tasy, public and legislative affairs director for New Jersey Right To Life, counters that a double-murder charge against Scott Peterson is appropriate.

    Food for Thought:

    • If a woman can choose to have a late-term abortion, should the father have the same right to kill the baby before it is born?
    • If a woman is scheduled to get an abortion, but the baby is killed in-utero by an outside person the day before that abortion, should that person be charged with murder? [/ul[
  • chappy

    If I shoot a woman who is 2 months pregnant and she survives but I kill the fetus, I would be charged with murder in the majority of states. I consider a two month old fetus to be human and feel that the law would be justified in charging me with murder. In this case the law considers the fetus human as murder only applies to a human being. However the courts do not consider the fetus to be human when an abortion is performed. The child dies during an abortion; it's not human. I shoot the mother and kill the child it is human. You can't have it both ways; it's a double standard.


  • czarofmischief

    It makes sense to be consistent here. I would suggest that if the fetus is proven to have a brain and brain activity, then it should acquire protected individual status. This occurs around ten weeks - enough time to decide whether or not to carry the baby to term (even many pro-choicers would tell you that if you can't decide to abort by then, you probably aren't a good candidate for an abortion).


Share this