Monday, May 13, 2013

Murder Charges For Ariel Castro...

Prosecutors in Ohio announced that they'll be seeking aggravated murder charges against Ariel Castro, for the miscarriages his abuse of his captive women caused.  I'm surprised that keeping three women captive for ten years doesn't carry the same sort of penalties as murder (life in prison without parole or execution), but apparently it does not.  If charging him with murder is required to make sure that miserable scum is never a free man again, then I'm all for it.

But it does raise some questions.

How, exactly, is it possible to simultaneously have legal abortion and charge someone for murdering a fetus?  If you can charge someone with murder for killing a fetus, then you are saying that killing a fetus is (under the law) the same as killing a human.  If that's the case, then how can abortion be anything other than murder?  It can't be the mother's permission – there's no other circumstance I can think of where permission excuses murder.

I'm no lawyer, but this isn't making sense to me.  I don't see how our legal system can simultaneously hold that abortion is legal and that Ariel Castro is a murderer...

1 comment:

  1. Charging someone with murder and/or manslaughter for causing the death of a fetus (when it isn't the decision of the woman carrying the fetus) isn't new. I've heard of similar things before. What I find more interesting is that it seems "justice" has more to do with outrage than the law.

    Prosecutors seem to manage to come up with new ways of applying laws to various cases when the case is high profile or particularly disgusting to the public. Or they see how many related charges they can come up with. Justice should be blind to public opinion. The law should apply equally to everyone (including politicians) and shouldn't be creatively applied due to public outrage.

    If I recall, fetal protection laws came about over the campaign against drunk driving. A drunk driver caused an accident and while the woman in the other car wasn't injured severely herself, it caused her to lose her baby. The resulting "outrage" resulted in the creative application of manslaughter charges. In fact, I've seen cases where the charge of murder is applied to a drunk driver whether for causing the death of the occupant of another vehicle.

    While I don't condone drunk driving, and share the outrage of kidnapping, imprisoning and beating someone, causing the death of their fetus, I think we need to be cautious of ratcheting up the number of laws and the penalties based on public outrage.

    There are so many laws on the books and so many more passed each and every year that regulated every aspect of our behavior and our lives, I guarantee you, we can all be in prison at the whim of our government for violating a few laws on any given day.

    Do you really want to live a life such that the only reason it isn't you in jail is that you have escaped the notice and/or ire of some public official?