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Death row for US case, 4 years imprisonment in UK. Murder of a baby?! Watch

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    In the English case of A-G Ref NO. 3 OF 1994, The defendant stabbed his pregnant girlfriend in the face, abdomen and back when she was 22-24 weeks pregnant. 17 days after the incident the woman went into premature labour and gave birth to a live baby. The baby died 121 days later due to the premature birth. The defendant was charged with wounding and GBH on the mother and convicted for which he received a sentence of 4 years. On the death of the baby he was also charged with murder and manslaughter. On appeal, the HL's disagreed and held the defendant's actions could not amount to murder, but could amount to constructive manslaughter. There was no requirement that the foetus be classed as a human being provided causation was proved. The attack on the mother was an unlawful act which caused the death of the baby. There is no requirement under constructive manslaughter that the unlawful act is aimed at the actual victim or that the unlawful act was directed at a human being.

    In the US case of State v. Courchesne (2010), the defendant stabbed Demetris Rodgers to death while she was pregnant; (2) she died at the hospital but her baby was born alive; and (3) the baby lived for 42 days before dying. The defendant was convicted of one of the crimes under the capital felony statute that makes a defendant eligible for the death penalty: "murder of two or more persons at the same time or in the course of a single transaction. " After conviction of a capital felony, the court holds a sentencing hearing where the jury considers statutory aggravating factors and mitigating evidence to decide whether to impose a death sentence. At issue in this case was the aggravating factor that "the defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner. " The court considered whether that aggravating factor had to be proven as to both murders or only one in order to make the defendant subject to the death penalty.

    The defendant waits on death row. Whilst the defendant in AG received 4 years imprisonment.

    With the actus reus and mens rea (act & mental state) requirements of murder being the same in both the UK and US - it appears that statutory interpretation acted as the vehicle for the alternate decisions in these cases; the US using judicial creativity in its interpretation and application of the doctrine of transferred intent and definition of 'human alive'.

    Which do you think is right, in the eyes of the law? Should a feotus be considered human alive for conviction of murder in the law? Should the doctrine of transferred intent be understood as applying to hurt from the mother to the unborn baby?


    Do you think incidental death of a baby be murder if harm occurred when a feotus?

    Do you think the US and UK operated correctly, according to law? What other factors do you think were present in the alternate decisions here?
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    (Original post by josh_rowley_)

    Which do you think is right, in the eyes of the law?
    What i think is right, and what the law thinks are two totally different things. Whether you're guilty or not depends on how good of a lawyer you have. I despise the "law" system :/

    That's right, i have nothing constructive to add to your thread!
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    Was the premature birth solely due to the attack? I'm sure it was a factor, but the fact that it was 17 days after makes me think that maybe there were other factors too.

    Having said, could be wrong. She might have been in hospital with them preventing labour for as long as possible.
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    Personally, I do not think that a foetus is a reasonable creature in being. It should only be considered as such when it has life independent of the mother.
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    here, you can murder a baby that is still in the womb if your actions cause it to die after birth. the issue in the AG ref you mentioned was that you cannot transfer malice to something that doesn't exist, which foetuses don't in law. The D didn't intent to kill the baby in that case (or see it as a virtual certainty). Look at West.
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    (Original post by Persephone9)
    Was the premature birth solely due to the attack? I'm sure it was a factor, but the fact that it was 17 days after makes me think that maybe there were other factors too.

    Having said, could be wrong. She might have been in hospital with them preventing labour for as long as possible.
    The premature birth was soley due to the attack - however the death was more attributable to the prematurity of birth rather than the technical attack. This highlighted the issue of a double transferred intent; intent to harm the mother, mother to feotus, feotus to baby. Sufficient in US case, too obscure in UK case.
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    I don't know about the US but in English law a fetus has no legal standing so it wasn't a baby in the eyes of the law.
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    The two cases are not identical though are they so your title is misleading. In the first case a baby died because it was born prematurely as a result of the attack and in the second both the baby and the mother died as a result of the attack, the baby dying for the same reason as in the first case. I'm sure the sentence would have been much longer if the mother died in the UK case. Still 4 years is not enough imo, it should have been 8 years imo even if she wasn't pregnant.
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    (Original post by josh_rowley_)
    In the English case of A-G Ref NO. 3 OF 1994, The defendant stabbed his pregnant girlfriend in the face, abdomen and back when she was 22-24 weeks pregnant. 17 days after the incident the woman went into premature labour and gave birth to a live baby. The baby died 121 days later due to the premature birth. The defendant was charged with wounding and GBH on the mother and convicted for which he received a sentence of 4 years. On the death of the baby he was also charged with murder and manslaughter. On appeal, the HL's disagreed and held the defendant's actions could not amount to murder, but could amount to constructive manslaughter. There was no requirement that the foetus be classed as a human being provided causation was proved. The attack on the mother was an unlawful act which caused the death of the baby. There is no requirement under constructive manslaughter that the unlawful act is aimed at the actual victim or that the unlawful act was directed at a human being.

    In the US case of State v. Courchesne (2010), the defendant stabbed Demetris Rodgers to death while she was pregnant; (2) she died at the hospital but her baby was born alive; and (3) the baby lived for 42 days before dying. The defendant was convicted of one of the crimes under the capital felony statute that makes a defendant eligible for the death penalty: "murder of two or more persons at the same time or in the course of a single transaction. " After conviction of a capital felony, the court holds a sentencing hearing where the jury considers statutory aggravating factors and mitigating evidence to decide whether to impose a death sentence. At issue in this case was the aggravating factor that "the defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner. " The court considered whether that aggravating factor had to be proven as to both murders or only one in order to make the defendant subject to the death penalty.

    The defendant waits on death row. Whilst the defendant in AG received 4 years imprisonment.

    With the actus reus and mens rea (act & mental state) requirements of murder being the same in both the UK and US - it appears that statutory interpretation acted as the vehicle for the alternate decisions in these cases; the US using judicial creativity in its interpretation and application of the doctrine of transferred intent and definition of 'human alive'.

    Which do you think is right, in the eyes of the law? Should a feotus be considered human alive for conviction of murder in the law? Should the doctrine of transferred intent be understood as applying to hurt from the mother to the unborn baby?


    Do you think incidental death of a baby be murder if harm occurred when a feotus?

    Do you think the US and UK operated correctly, according to law? What other factors do you think were present in the alternate decisions here?
    In order for anyone to be human, they have to be born. The law does not consider a foetus a baby.

    I agree with your point.
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    (Original post by josh_rowley_)
    In the English case of A-G Ref NO. 3 OF 1994, The defendant stabbed his pregnant girlfriend in the face, abdomen and back when she was 22-24 weeks pregnant. 17 days after the incident the woman went into premature labour and gave birth to a live baby. The baby died 121 days later due to the premature birth. The defendant was charged with wounding and GBH on the mother and convicted for which he received a sentence of 4 years. On the death of the baby he was also charged with murder and manslaughter. On appeal, the HL's disagreed and held the defendant's actions could not amount to murder, but could amount to constructive manslaughter. There was no requirement that the foetus be classed as a human being provided causation was proved. The attack on the mother was an unlawful act which caused the death of the baby. There is no requirement under constructive manslaughter that the unlawful act is aimed at the actual victim or that the unlawful act was directed at a human being.

    In the US case of State v. Courchesne (2010), the defendant stabbed Demetris Rodgers to death while she was pregnant; (2) she died at the hospital but her baby was born alive; and (3) the baby lived for 42 days before dying. The defendant was convicted of one of the crimes under the capital felony statute that makes a defendant eligible for the death penalty: "murder of two or more persons at the same time or in the course of a single transaction. " After conviction of a capital felony, the court holds a sentencing hearing where the jury considers statutory aggravating factors and mitigating evidence to decide whether to impose a death sentence. At issue in this case was the aggravating factor that "the defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner. " The court considered whether that aggravating factor had to be proven as to both murders or only one in order to make the defendant subject to the death penalty.

    The defendant waits on death row. Whilst the defendant in AG received 4 years imprisonment.

    With the actus reus and mens rea (act & mental state) requirements of murder being the same in both the UK and US - it appears that statutory interpretation acted as the vehicle for the alternate decisions in these cases; the US using judicial creativity in its interpretation and application of the doctrine of transferred intent and definition of 'human alive'.

    Which do you think is right, in the eyes of the law? Should a feotus be considered human alive for conviction of murder in the law? Should the doctrine of transferred intent be understood as applying to hurt from the mother to the unborn baby?


    Do you think incidental death of a baby be murder if harm occurred when a feotus?

    Do you think the US and UK operated correctly, according to law? What other factors do you think were present in the alternate decisions here?
    Even for the anti-life people, this should pose a dilemma.

    Yup, this should be classed as murder worthy of the death penalty. Assuming that the mother is innocent of any wrongdoing, and that the child was not facing horrible birth defects, only worthless scum would do this.
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    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    Yup, this should be classed as murder worthy of the death penalty.
    In which case, US or UK?

    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    Assuming that the mother is innocent of any wrongdoing, and that the child was not facing horrible birth defects, only worthless scum would do this.
    Why should this be an issue? What could the mother have done that warranted a stabbing, and why would the child having birth defects make a difference?

    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    Even for the anti-life people, this should pose a dilemma.
    I think what you are assuming here, although correct me if I'm wrong, it that people who are pro-choice want fetuses to be terminated. This almost always isn't the case. Being pro-choice is about letting the mother choose whether or not she wants to keep the fetus.
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    (Original post by Persephone9)
    In which case, US or UK?

    Why should this be an issue? What could the mother have done that warranted a stabbing, and why would the child having birth defects make a difference?

    I think what you are assuming here, although correct me if I'm wrong, it that people who are pro-choice want fetuses to be terminated. This almost always isn't the case. Being pro-choice is about letting the mother choose whether or not she wants to keep the fetus.
    I'm in the UK, where we unfortunately lack capital punishment.

    I don't wish to come to the conclusion that someone had it coming to them. I assume innocence by default on the part of the victim until it is stated otherwise.
    If the offender was related to her, and knew the baby was going to have horrible birth defects, it might be called involuntary pre-natal euthanasia.
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    That child could have came up with the best idea to save pollution from earth , who knows what children came bring.
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    (Original post by The_Male_Melons)
    In order for anyone to be human, they have to be born.
    Whilst I agree with this, I find it difficult to see that if a pregnant woman was stabbed and this killed her fetus that the perpetrator would only be charged with stabbing the woman not causing the fetus to die. With abortion there is at least the choice of the woman, with this there would be no choice so why no charge?

    Maybe I'm just inconsistent. :dontknow:
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    ok, we might be a bit too lenient, but its just a ****ing baby
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    Whilst I agree with this, I find it difficult to see that if a pregnant woman was stabbed and this killed her fetus that the perpetrator would only be charged with stabbing the woman not causing the fetus to die. With abortion there is at least the choice of the woman, with this there would be no choice so why no charge?

    Maybe I'm just inconsistent. :dontknow:
    I agree with you. I do think the perpetrator should also be charged for murdering a foetus.

    As the law stands,a foetus isn't recognised as human.
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    (Original post by Liquidus Zeromus)
    I'm in the UK, where we unfortunately lack capital punishment.

    I don't wish to come to the conclusion that someone had it coming to them. I assume innocence by default on the part of the victim until it is stated otherwise.
    If the offender was related to her, and knew the baby was going to have horrible birth defects, it might be called involuntary pre-natal euthanasia.
    It would actually be active non voluntary euthanasia, if the baby had been born. Active euthanasia includes the use of lethal force to kill someone (which is widely illegal), and non voluntary euthanasia is when someone who cannot consent is euthanised, which is illegal. People under 12 also can't be legally euthanised, except in the Netherlands in exceptional circumstances.

    Even if the offender knew that the child would have horrible birth defects, if the mother wishes to continue the pregnancy then why should the offender be able to stop her against her will?
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    (Original post by Persephone9)
    It would actually be active non voluntary euthanasia, if the baby had been born. Active euthanasia includes the use of lethal force to kill someone (which is widely illegal), and non voluntary euthanasia is when someone who cannot consent is euthanised, which is illegal. People under 12 also can't be legally euthanised, except in the Netherlands in exceptional circumstances.

    Even if the offender knew that the child would have horrible birth defects, if the mother wishes to continue the pregnancy then why should the offender be able to stop her against her will?
    Yes, but I don't care too much about legal technicalities.

    It would depend on the mother's state of mind. I would think it's a bad decision to give birth to a baby with painful and severely debilitating birth defects, to the extent that it amounts to undue cruelty. Ideally, it should be the mother's decision, and she should make the right one for the situation. If she is mentally retarded then she is obviously unable to make that decision.
    If her attacker feels strongly and justifiably that giving birth would be an act of evil, whilst they should be punished for their violence, they must be forgiven for their act of compassion.
    Possibly, the law should be able to intervene in the most severe cases where a baby will be brought into a life of physical pain and disfigurement. But nothing less than that.
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    there are people who will illegaly terminate the foetus late in the pregnancy (ie after however many weeks it is before abotion is illegal) on the request of the mother, and whilst this is wrong i dont consider them to be mass murderers
    if a woman slips and falls down the stairs whilst pregnant and as a result her baby dies, then she has inadvertantly killed it, yet it would not be manslaughter
    so basically i dont think killing a foetus is murder (or manslaughter as it would be in your cases), although it should be a crime for which there is some sort of punishment (though not as exteme as it would be for murder)
 
 
 
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