Kansas Prosecutor Criticized for Not bringing Charge in Death of Unborn Baby
by Steven Ertelt
July 23, 2008
Leavenworth, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas is one of 37 states with an unborn victims law similar to the one used to prosecute Scott Peterson for killing his wife Laci and unborn child Conner. However, the law does no good if prosecutors are unwilling to bring charges for killing both victims in an attack on mother and child.
That appears to be what’s happening in a Kansas case involving a man who shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child.
Sedale Fox, of Lansing, has been charged with just one count of capital murder even though both mother and child died as a result of the attack.
A Leavenworth County judge determined on Tuesday that there is enough evidence for the trial to proceed.
According to an AP report, Fox apparently killed 20-year-old Olivia Jackson, who was slated to deliver her baby in March, on January 22.
Kathy Ostrowski, of Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com she doesn’t understand why the prosecutor hasn’t brought a second murder charge in the case under Alexa’s law, which was signed into law in May 2007.
Under the statute, an "unborn child," meaning "a living individual organism of the species homo sapiens, in utero, at any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth," is defined as a "person" and a "human being" for the purposes of the Kansas statutes concerning murder and assault.
"Although prosecutors have the authority to select which charges to bring, it is concerning that the second charge for fetal homicide has not been asserted in this case," Ostrowski said.
She said the baby was seven months old at the time of the murders but the age of the baby doesn’t matter for the law to apply.
"Under Alexa’s Law, the prosecutor need not consider fetal age in order to charge for fetal death,’ she said. "In fact, if the murdered woman was discovered to be pregnant in an autopsy, Alexa’s Law could apply."
If Fox is found guilty of killing Jackson, Ostrowski said justice would be denied if he wasn’t held accountable for killing her baby as well.
"The victims’ family and friends — and the community — have a right to see justice done for both murders," she said.
She urged local residents of the northeast Kansas area to contact the county attorney and ask that charges be brought for the slaying of both victims.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org
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