Guilty on two counts of murder
by Michael H. Keehn
This case, mostly because of A&E presentations, is generally known nation wide. In this matter Scott
Peterson was found guilty of murdering his wife Lacy and his unborn child... Lacy was several months
This decision contains the elements that an unborn child exists as an individual in law. If the unborn
child did not exist in law, how could there be a murder conviction for the killing of someone who does
not exist? Clearly, the unborn child exists in the eyes of the law. Also clear, is the fact that this unborn
child has a ‘right to life’. That it is murder to take that life after conception.
Given the fact that an unborn child exists as an individual in law, as evidenced by murder conviction, it
would seem reasonable that child support and other welfare benefits would be available for any unborn
child. If the unborn child exists well enough to support a charge and conviction of murder, it would
certainly seem reasonable that the unborn child also exists sufficiently to receive child support and
medical care as related to that unborn child... does it not?
In my heart I can understand the conviction for the murder of the unborn child, it seems reasonable. It
seems reasonable because at the moment of conception there begins a human life. A life that is in a
different stage of development at 6 minutes than it will be in 6 hours, 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, 6
years or 60 years. It does not matter at which point in time we examine, it is the same human life, just
in a different stage of development. And so I do not have a problem with a conviction for murder of
Scott’s unborn son.
But I’m a little confused. In this country we have embraced this thing we call a ‘partial birth abortion’.
A process in which the baby is in the birth canal and once the head is visible, a vacuum cleaner,
disguised as a medical instrument, is inserted into the baby’s head and its brain is sucked out of its
head. Yet, this has somehow been considered acceptable.
Regular abortion stands no better. The taking of the life of an innocent unborn is the taking of a life of
an innocent unborn. Whether it be a murder committed by a Scott Peterson or by the mother who
does not want any consequence attached to her actions, or the doctor that performs the murder on
request/sanction of the mother. This logic could be the same argument of Scott Peterson, that he too
did not want any consequence attached to his action. So my lack of understanding comes from this
conflict of sanction. Its OK to take the life of an innocent unborn if my name is Jane Doe, but it is
considered murder if my name is John Doe.
Do we not teach that one of the most important and basic tenants of American law is that we are ALL
equal in the eyes of the law? If we can charge, try, and convict Scott Peterson of murder for taking the
life of an innocent unborn, then the taking of the life of an innocent unborn is murder... period. But,
somehow in our system of law, its considered murder on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s, but its
OK on Tuesday after dark when the wind is out of the North. This kind of inconsistency in the
application of law contains the foundations to destroy a society and country.
But let’s examine this loss of a young life in another area. We have in this country an organization
known as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). Their whole premise is to put into prison, anyone
who is caught driving while intoxicated. It does not matter that the person going to prison has never
harmed anyone. We’re going to knock him in the head with our ‘legal baseball bat’ simply because he
might injure someone, someday. Personally, I’m not in support causing harm to someone, by
imprisoning them, when they have not harmed anyone. In doing so we move from the realm of
punishing someone who has caused an injury to another and move into a realm where it is ‘we the
people’ who become the one causing injury, based solely on the premise that another individual might
harm someone by his actions, someday. What nonsense. But, for the moment let us accept this
premise and expand on it.
Suppose I am driving down a residential street at 20 miles per hour. I am not under the influence of any
drug or substance. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour, so I’m being prudent. Parked at the curb is a
pickup truck with a camping trailer attached. Unknown to me, a three year old child is between the
back of the truck and the front of the trailer, and without warning this child runs into the path of my car.
I’m not able to stop in time and I kill the youngster. Should we now imprison the parents for not doing
their job? A child is dead by virtue of their neglect, not mine.
And what about me. What kind of psychological damage might I suffer. Suppose I’m no longer able
to drive, leaving me without the means to support myself. Suppose I have restlessness, sleeplessness,
nervousness and a host of other psychological problems. Do I not have cause to file a law suit against
the parents who failed to do their parenting job, and collect damages. My life was fine until the day
they failed to do their job, now my life is a shambles. Unemployed, perhaps homeless, un-cared for,
without regular meals, no future... all because one or two adults did not want to do their parenting job.
You might argue that Scott Peterson performed his act of murder deliberately, and I would agree. But
the parents who set aside their parenting job, causing the death of their child through neglect, also did
so deliberately. It is not by accident that we stop doing our parenting job.
The point that I am making is that there is considerable inconsistency in the application of our laws.
And if inconsistency will do anything, it will pit us against each other. Right and Wrong needs to be
properly identified and applied equally to all, regardless of ethnic background or gender.
In the arena of disclaimer, I fully understand that an abortion may be proper and more than justified in a
rape situation or molestation by a guardian. Probably any situation in which the act producing
pregnancy was not voluntary. I know that if I was female, I would not want my body used as a
reproduction vehicle for a child molester or rapist.
The point being made is that we need to be consistent in application of law. We also need to be careful
about the can of worms we open, for often it can come back to bite us in a way we did not anticipate.
An act can not be okay for one person or gender, and the same act a crime for a different person or
gender. For many years unwanted and unexpected pregnancies were taken to full term and the child
was placed in an orphanage. Alternatively, a pair of loving parents could were sometimes found ahead
of time to take the child upon its birth rather than kill that life. Perhaps those in disagreement should go
to the school grounds of a primary school and look at the 4, 5, 6 & 7 year old children playing there.
Which of these children should have been killed because they were not convenient or a good choice of
It is not my intent to beat up anyone who has made such a choice, only to help them see it was not a
moral choice. If we are going to abort lives, why not wait till they are teenagers and we can really see
their character. Weed them out when we can clearly see that they will have nothing to contribute. Ah,
but it is much more difficult to play GOD when we can ‘see their faces’, see them as a real human
being. It is so much easier to play GOD with someone none of us has ever met.
And if we give this choice of life or death to the women, who is only 50% responsible for the
pregnancy, should we not give the same option to the other party (the man) who is also 50%
responsible? I’m certain that Scott Peterson was only thinking of himself when he took the life of his
unborn child, but is this not also the case whenever an unborn child is killed? Obviously, the person
who decides the unborn child is to die is only thinking of themselves.
I know that you can not generally change people by jamming a position down their throat, illegal drugs
has proved that, and that is not my intent. My goal is to reach the hearts and minds of my fellow man.
And that probably makes me a dangerous radical to some.
I have no gift for poetry but I read it. Some poets and poems examine mans inhumanity to man. There
is a meditation in which a famous saying is often misquoted. The quote you often hear is “Never ask for
whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” The quote is taken from a meditation by John Donne regarding the
death of a human being. In this meditation, John puts forth his sentiment approximately as follows:
‘That if a clod of Europe be washed to the sea, Europe is the less because of it.’ In this he is suggesting
that when a man dies, mankind is the less. In his time, the church bell would ring when a man had died.
Therefore the actual quote is: “and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for
thee.” In this he is saying that when a man dies, it is also your loss for mankind is the less.
I generally embrace the sentiments of John Donne. However, there are those who have forfeited their
life by the brutal and unwarranted taking of the life of another human being. I suspect, that in their case,
‘mankind’ will not be ‘the less’ because of their execution. I, for one, would certainly not wish to deny
them something they have worked so hard to attain... execution. Having worked that hard to be at that
cross road, they should have it.