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May 13, 2013

"Why Might the Cleveland Kidnapper Get Charged With Murder?"

The title of this post is the headline of this new piece in the National Journal on a topic that has already garnered considerable discussion on this blog.  Here are excerpts:

The government is wading into the murky waters of what constitutes a human life. The prosecutor in the Cleveland kidnappings case said on Thursday that he plans to pursue murder charges against Ariel Castro — the now-infamous abductor of at least three women — “for each act of aggravated murder he committed by terminating pregnancies,” according to reports. Implicit in the charges is a question central to the abortion debate: Do fetuses count as persons?....

To abortion opponents, [this case] may represent an opportunity to underscore their belief that fetuses are living and abortion is murder whether it's at the hands of Castro or a physician.  Supporters of abortion rights may feel the need to preempt such attacks, underscoring the differences between a medical procedure done at the behest of the mother and an assault on their pregnancy done without their consent....

In fact, there’s some precedent: at least 38 states have laws — some like Ohio’s — against fetal homicide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  In 2011, two proposed bills in Mississippi and Georgia threatened to ensnare women who miscarried, too.  But proponents of personhood, the movement to classify fetuses as living, say such claims are specious and most such bills are aimed at intentionally killing fetuses — through abortion or drug use in some cases.

The Ohio case may provide fodder in the debate, but as far as the legality goes, it's unlikely to set any new precedents.

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May 13, 2013 at 08:17 AM | Permalink

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| "The government is wading into the murky waters of what constitutes a human life." |

- - Not so, undermined by the writer's subsequent words, no less:

| "In fact, there’s some precedent: at least 38 states have laws — some like Ohio’s — against fetal homicide." |

- - Some precedent for a prohibition on fetal homicide?
At least 38 of 50 states (or Obama's 57) = ≥76% of states.

{"At least 23 states have fetal homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy ("any state of gestation," "conception," "fertilization" or "post-fertilization" [ including Ohio]".}

~Nat. Conf. of State Legislatures.org

Posted by: Adamakis | May 13, 2013 9:31:34 AM

so according to you, Adamakis, 23% of states purport to ban virtually all forms of birth control (except for prayer).

that must be what the right wing means by faith based solutions ;)

Erika :)

Posted by: Erika | May 13, 2013 10:31:37 AM

According to me, by claiming ambiguity in the law—"wading into the murky waters"--the writer of the article is employing a lesser form of deception
than that of Presidential Spokesman Jay Carney:

"The only edit made by the White House or the State Department to those talking points generated by the CIA
was a change from was referring to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi from 'consulate', because it was
not a consulate, to 'diplomatic facility'".

"ABC News exclusively obtained 12 different versions of the Benghazi talking points that showed they were
extensively edited from the initial draft stage through the final version distributed to Congress. . . "

5/10/13: thegatewaypundit.com;
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/wh-says-it-was-not-heavily-involved-in-edits-to-benghazi-talking-points/

Posted by: Adamakis | May 13, 2013 11:11:28 AM

The article stated: "Supporters of abortion rights may feel the need to preempt such attacks, underscoring the differences between a medical procedure done at the behest of the mother and an assault on their pregnancy done without their consent...."

What the article has missed and Erika so clumsily dodged in the previous thread is the obvious logical inconsistency.

A fetus is a "life" or it is not. The means of excision cannot change its status logically.

If it is not a "life", the Castro's of the world cannot morally be charged with "murder." If it is a life, you can charge Castro but must also charge abortionists.

A third grader could figure out this simple logic.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 11:50:12 AM

TarlsQtr, the only people who see a contradiction there are people like you who lack even the most basic understanding of human biology, believe that women have no purpose other than to be an incubator, and are such assholes that they believe that they can make political points off of a horrific crime.

Posted by: Erika | May 13, 2013 12:48:09 PM

TarlsQtr: Animals are life, and slaughterhouse operators aren't indicted for murder. Plants are life, and you don't see too many people in prison for weeding the garden.

No, I'm not saying that a fetus is equivalent to an animal or plant -- just that we, as a society, draw a line between "life" as such and personhood. Not every life form is a person which enjoys the protection of the homicide laws, and where that line is drawn is a matter of opinion. I happen to agree with drawing the line at viability, but there's no logical contradiction even if you disagree.

(BTW, I believe that causing a woman to miscarry against her will _should_ be a crime - but that the victim of that crime is the woman, not the fetus.)

Posted by: azazel | May 13, 2013 1:12:32 PM

Erika stated: "TarlsQtr, the only people who see a contradiction there are people like you who lack even the most basic understanding of human biology, believe that women have no purpose other than to be an incubator, and are such assholes that they believe that they can make political points off of a horrific crime."

My response: "Erika, the only people who don't see a contradiction there are people like you who lack even the most basic understanding of human biology, believe that babies have no purpose other than at a woman's "whim" (the same "reasoning" that legitimized slavery), and are such assholes that they refuse simple logic that a child could see so that they can hold on to an untenable political position."

Funny that you brought up human biology. In fact, you stand athwart the science in this matter. Any doctor/scientist will tell you that a baby gains its own DNA, UNIQUE AND SEPARATE FROM BOTH THE MOTHER AND FATHER, at conception. Everything from that point forward is a stage of "human development."

For instance, the definition of fetus is (emphasis mine), " the developing YOUNG in the uterus, specifically the unborn OFFSPRING in the postembryonic period, in humans from nine weeks after fertilization until birth." http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fetus

In other words, it is an "offspring" or "young" of a human, not part of the "mother's body" as your ilk have been erroneously spouting for decades.

You have the right to deny both logic and science but just realize what a shaky position it puts you in. A "mother" should have no more right to decide a baby is or is not a "life" any more than the slave owner should have had that decision. You have failed to even BEGIN to explain how this is not a contradiction, resorting to mere ad hominem name calling and abandoning all logic, reason, and science.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 1:21:40 PM

Let's keep this very simple, Erika.

Without name calling, red herrings, etc., please answer the following question.

Using sound science and a logically consistent position, please explain how a woman's choice to have an abortion changes a fetus's status from a "human being" to not a human being.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 1:25:55 PM

azazel stated: "Animals are life, and slaughterhouse operators aren't indicted for murder. Plants are life, and you don't see too many people in prison for weeding the garden."

Nor do you see the slaughterhouse operator denying that the cow was a cow or that the green bean was a green bean.

you stated: "No, I'm not saying that a fetus is equivalent to an animal or plant -- just that we, as a society, draw a line between "life" as such and personhood."

Fine, but you cannot call it a "person" in the case of Castro and then NOT a "person" when a woman wants to go down to see her friendly, neighborhood, Kurt Gosnell.

"Not every life form is a person which enjoys the protection of the homicide laws, and where that line is drawn is a matter of opinion."

A terrible analogy because of the obvious. A cow and a bean plant are not humans even at full development. And you stand athwart science, as any scientist or doctor will tell you that a baby receives its own unique DNA at conception and EVERYTHING beyond that point is nothing but "human development." Draw the line where you will, but just stop the euphemisms and call it what it is, killing a human.

You stated: "I happen to agree with drawing the line at viability, but there's no logical contradiction even if you disagree."

It has nothing to do with whether I disagree and is instead simple logic. OF COURSE it is a contradiction to prosecute Castro for killing a "life" and then not prosecuting an abortionist on the premise that it is NOT a life.

It is or is not a life. You cannot logically have it both ways.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 13, 2013 1:54:01 PM

azazel stated: "Animals are life, and slaughterhouse operators aren't indicted for murder. Plants are life, and you don't see too many people in prison for weeding the garden.

No, I'm not saying that a fetus is equivalent to an animal or plant..."

Now, I know that you are not claiming a baby is a weed, however, I find it quite ironic that the hero of the abortionist movement and Planned Parenthood founder did exactly that (emphasis mine):

"How are we to breed a race of human thoroughbreds unless we follow the same plan? We must make this country into a garden of children instead of a disorderly back lot overrun with HUMAN WEEDS."

--Radio WFAB Syracuse, 1924-02-29, transcripted in "The Meaning of Radio Birth Control", April 1924, p. 111

And who are these "human weeds"? Why the unfit and minorities of course. As Sanger said in reference to her "Negro Project":

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that WE WANT TO EXTERMINATE THE NEGRO POPULATION. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

--Letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, December 10, 1939

Is it any wonder that while blacks make up 12% of the population, black babies make up 35% of all abortions, and 78% of all Planned Parenthood locations are in black neighborhoods? We need to be "weeding the garden", right?


Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | May 14, 2013 9:09:59 AM

TarlsQtr1:

Abair thusa! You are poignant. My uncle is an acquaintance of the ancient James Watson of the Crick-Watson dynamic DNA duo. The eugenics work of the Cold Spring Harbor Lab -- of which he was quite possibly a part -- was most racist, murderous, and ungodly. Sanger was of course a spokespiece or salesman of their misuse of science.

"A dozen invitations [for me] to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on,
and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York."~~[Women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan
at Silver Lake, N.J.~~{Margaret Sanger An Autobiography, 1971}]

Posted by: Adamakis | May 16, 2013 12:46:12 AM

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