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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@Belle Rose;

"Gregg: you take me for a little girl who hasn't seen the world don't you?"

Negative Sweet Rose, I take you only as a post in cyberspace nothing more, nothing less.  I make the assumption that there are persons behind the posts I see, but I do not assume to know those persons.

I find it interesting how you can see 'justice served' by a rotating door prison system for those who murder others. And yet somehow view my personal vendetta system having lower value to 'justice served'.

Under the system you support society must put up with a serial killer and an unknown number of murders, a loss for society.  Under my system after one murder society suffers no more murders from that individual, a win for society.

Do you not see how your zeal to temporarily punish a murderer with a few years of prison life creates more suffer, pain and death for the innocent who this ex-con will come into contact with after his release in 3.5 years?

@dave g. Assault as defined most places in the US is the threat or perceived threat of violence. Battery is the actual violent act against another person. I personally think that mother and child are one until they are separated, or at the very least until the fetus is able to survive unaided apart from the mother.
@George: Yep, but there are some places where assault is defined both as threat and violent action, so in those places it would be an assault charge rather than assault and battery.
I'm sorry for the prison rape comment everyone. I'm going to refrain from commenting further on this thread. This is too emotional of a subject for me to argue or discuss with critical thinking rationally. I don't wish sexual assault on anyone.

I assumed you weren't being strictly literal with the comment. I took it largely as a sign of contempt for the criminal. Most can probably sympathize with the underlying sentiment. I have certainly had dark thoughts concerning people who, from my view, do little more than bring harm to others.

@ The Rose;

"I don't wish sexual assault on anyone."

I didn't think you were.

OK Kris I've had a few days to cool off and think things through. I'm ready to pick this back up. Where were we?

We were trying to establish why a baby in utero would not be considered a murder victim if killed whether due to intentional or negligent actions...

I thought of a great example that might demonstrate my point a bit further....

I come from a state with really high drunk driving rates. Every year we brace ourselves for the family that will undoubtedly be killed on Christmas Eve from some drunk driver who slams into them. Let's pretend for a moment that a drunk driver hits a family of 4 and they die. If we were going to play the legal system the way it really works the offender would initially be charged with murder and probably plea bargain down to manslaughter or something similar - a felony nonetheless.

Let's pretend that this is a family of 3 with a baby in utero 9 months pregnant. Why would we not charge the offender for the death of this child even though it's about to be delivered any day?

What reasoning do you use besides protecting abortion rights to eliminate the charges if the same woman is only 3 months pregnant?

In this example what would you suggest happen to the offender who kills a family of 3 and one on the way? Would it change for the family with a baby in utero 9 months pregnant vs 3 months pregnant?

Why?

I would have the offending driver charged -- in addition to any other charges -- specifically for causing the death of a fetus as I would in almost any of the other hypotheticals mentioned. I would not have the driver charged with any charges which recognize the fetus as a legal person.

Please tell me the part you are not understanding? I have no issues with there being a felony charge for causing the death of a fetus outside of medical necessity or legal abortion. I simply do not support defining a fetus as a legal person for the sake of convenience in filing charges.

 I simply do not support defining a fetus as a legal person for the sake of convenience in filing charges.

So it sounds like we're in agreement then about the charges in a way, but can you explain an example where the above statement might apply?

If you want to file a homicide charge for the death of a fetus, you either need to redefine homicide, or redefine what a legal human/ person is.

In a large number of American states, it has already been done, but frankly I think it was just sloppy law making. What is the threshold for when a fetus is a person or is not a person in the eyes of the law?

You're making a point I've tried to make many times, Kris. To say that a fetus isn't a person is a legal fact, not a fact like "all metals expand when heated." It's a mere stipulation which can just as easily be undone by the repeal of some law.

On the other hand, how we use language IS a fact, and we do (the majority of us) refer to fetuses as babies or unborn children. This isn't a stipulation. 

Not only is referring to the unborn as children common usage, but it reflects the way we most of us think about the unborn. I'd wager even most people who claim that the unborn aren't persons think about their own unborn as persons, in a real sense if not a legal sense.

It always seems so stilted to hear people make the case that the unborn aren't people or aren't human beings. But apparently it doesn't seem stilted to you.

Hmm? I don't have an issue with people saying 'unborn child' or 'child-to-be' or even just 'child'. I don't think it should be written into legal documents as it's kind of imprecise terminology, but the term 'child' doesn't just refer to age or development; it marks the relationship between parent and progeny. I will always be my mother's child, even as a legal adult.

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