If in killing a woman her unborn baby is killed as well...

Charge the killer with a double murder or not?

Suppose she doesn't die but the baby does?

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What he said.

Careful, Belle - Feenstra gets angry when you don't say what he wants to hear.


And my popcorn wasn't even done popping!


That sounds goood...I be back in a couple. :)

"Yes. If no other rights were attached to this issue, I would feel the same way."

Exactly. The question is important regardless of any legal cases which may or may not hinge upon its answer.

Referring to the killing of the unborn as feticide begs the very same question which is at question here: is a fetus an unborn incipient person or just a hunk of tissue.

That is an "either/or" question that I believe is called a "false dichotomy", which you usually are not guilty of.

One of the reasons I think you cannot treat your scenario as a double-homicide is simply that you cannot kill off the pregnant woman, yet leave the fetus alive.

Nobody is saying that the fetus doesn't matter at all.  We are simply trying to ascertain how it would be appropriate to apply a definition to the crime, and what penalties should apply.

Perhaps it is feasible to have a different penalty for killing a pregnant woman as opposed to a non-pregnant woman, but other than giving it a special name (aggravated murder perhaps?) I don't see what you are trying to achieve. It is not like the sentencing is decided on from a label based logarithm table - the judge does get quite a broad input to sentencing.

Certainly I cannot see that there is anything a new category of offense would achieve that would be seen as more of a deterrent.  "I was going to murder that woman, but now I know that she is pregnant, I'll reconsider"?.  So it looks to me as if giving special crime status to a killed fetus falls more into the 'vengeance' category rather than the 'punishment' or 'deterrent' ones.

Babies are removed from the bodies of dead mothers all the time. The mother might have died in an accident, but if the baby is viable and relatively uninjured, it can be surgically removed.

All the time?  Evidence please

I googled "baby removed from dead mother" and got 54,000,000 links. They can't all be about the same incident. 

What makes you so skeptical, anyway? Pregnant women are killed in accidents or are murdered or die by disease very frequently (do I need to prove that as well?). Simply because the mother dies, the baby doesn't die automatically. They can be saved if they are removed from the womb quickly enough (and assuming they are viable as well, of course). I say "all the time" because I can remember several incidents, including a couple in which the mother was murdered so that her baby could be taken from her.

Blimey, Unseen, I asked for evidence because you said, "all the time".  I can imagine fetuses might be "saved" if the pregnancy is in the last two or three months. To me, "all the time" makes the process sound almost casually common.

As to what makes me so skeptical?  Absolutes make me skeptical. Unsupported information makes me skeptical.  My entire thought process makes me skeptical.


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