(Woman charged with killing her fetus due to using crack)
"As far back as 1996, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a woman who had used crack cocaine during the third trimester of her pregnancy. The defendant in South Carolina v. Whitner had argued that her fetus did not meet the definition of "child" under the law, but the Court found that because the fetus was viable, it qualified."
On the flip side,
From the website "stop the ACLU":
"The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that unborn children are not “human beings,” and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregancies.
The unanimous decision overturns the manslaughter conviction of 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, who was found guilty in connection with the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine shortly before his birth.
“I’m extremely happy and grateful,” said Aiwohi. “I believe [the case] changed me into a better person and I just hope to share that with others.”"
I think USA legislators have attempted to address this and closely related issues, but unsuccessfully. So it remains in the hands of the individual states.
The above was from cursory purusal of google search results.
I still don't see this as an abortion issue from a prosecutor's standpoint. A prosecutor could be pro abortion and still easily seek a wrongful death indictment if it is in accord with a state's laws. A judge should view it the same way.
While there are many comments about how a state laws SHOULD be written (wise or not--ethically/morally), I would restrict my comments on this issue as to how a state's laws ARE written (clear or not--easy to interpret and apply).
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we all know that driving drunk is a horrible decision every single time. And my client (dramatic turn and point) did just that! Is she guilty of a DUI and stupidity? Hell yes she is! My appologies to the court for the cursing. Does she deserve to pay that fine and do her time? Yes she does!!
But, ladies and gentlemen, we are not here to decide that. We are here to decide whether or not my client (client coached to wipe tears now) deserves to be found guilty of homicide. It has already been ruled in court cases before us, that women in their last trimester can have an abortion if it is in the intrest to save their own lives. (I really don't know what trimester it was, but I'm on a roll). On that fateful night, the same night that my client had too much to drink, most of us were nestled safely in our beds. Can I have a show of hands for anyone that overcompensated during a curve in the road?
I know I have. Show of hands for anyone who has been in a car crash. I know I have. Anybody remember what they were thinking when it happened? If you're like me, you acted instinctually. You braced yourself, turned your head and probably screamed. In this case, thrusting her stomach towards the steering wheel was the only way to save herself.
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you to use your best judgement here. Did my client needlessly cause the end of her pregnancy (I wouldn't call it a child just for effect) or was she simply saving herself much like what doctors do on an operating table every single day in America? Was she wrong for driving? Yes. Was she wrong for saving herself? Well, that's for you to decide.
The defense rests its case, your honor.
You're allowed to say almost anything you want, but I think the part about thrusting her stomach out to save herself in spite of her pregnancy is a stretch (and will leave marks - ha, ha). The fact is that her DUI was the direct cause of the death of the fetus is a given, and the only issue is whether or not killing a fetus constitutes manslaughter. I don't see this as any different from a drunk driver hitting a pregnant woman and causing the death of her fetus. In that case, I believe that the crime of killing an "almost person" makes the offense (and should make the punishment) worse than if no fetus were involved, but it doesn't rise to the level of manslaughter.
Did you say undefeated? The reason I look shocked is because I am.
http://www.insidesocal.com/outinholl...%2C%2Cburr.jpgHow about you steppin' out of the court room now, junior. Let a man handle this one.
Everyone knows Denny Crane has never lost a case.