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Re: snort coke, go to jail for murder - the drug war gets worse

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    ================= Begin forwarded message ================= From: nebukhadhnasar@yahoo.com (Abdallah Tahhan) To: thekoba@aztecfreenet.org Cc:
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 8, 2003
      ================= Begin forwarded message =================

      From: nebukhadhnasar@... (Abdallah Tahhan)
      To: thekoba@...
      Cc: cbpeek@...
      Subject: Re: snort coke, go to jail for murder - the drug war gets worse
      Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 09:15:54 -0700 (PDT)


      Dear Kevin,

      Yes, I agree that "homicide" in such a case opens up
      lots of very problematic doors. Since the damage that
      smoking by a pregnant woman can cause an unborn child
      is well publicised, any woman who smokes during
      pregnancy could be similarly prosecuted, at least for
      "child abuse" even if the child is not born dead.

      In addition, this sort of punishment implies that
      abortion might be regarded as a form of homicide as
      well.

      Comradely,

      Eric


      --- K J WALSH <thekoba@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > ================= Begin forwarded message
      > =================
      >
      >
      >
      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/1007scotus07.ht
      > ml
      >
      > Court refuses woman's appeal in stillbirth
      > blamed on cocaine
      > advertisement
      >
      > David G. Savage
      > Los Angeles Times
      > Oct. 7, 2003 12:00 AM
      >
      >
      > WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused to hear
      > an appeal Monday from
      > a South Carolina woman who was the first to be
      > convicted of homicide
      > for using illegal drugs during pregnancy.
      >
      > In 1999, Regina McKnight, then 26 years old and
      > mildly retarded, had
      > a stillborn child. When medical tests showed the
      > baby had trace
      > elements from cocaine exposure, McKnight was
      > indicted for "homicide
      > by child abuse."
      >
      > The South Carolina courts earlier had broken new
      > ground by extending
      > the state's law against child abuse to the
      > unborn. Several women were
      > prosecuted for harming their babies by using
      > illegal drugs during
      > pregnancy.
      >
      > South Carolina law punishes a woman who
      > intentionally kills her
      > unborn child with a maximum two-year prison
      > term. But the newly
      > created crime of "homicide by child abuse"
      > carried a maximum term of
      > 20 years in prison.
      >
      > McKnight's lawyers disputed that cocaine abuse
      > caused the death of
      > her child, but she was convicted and given a
      > 12-year prison term. The
      > state's supreme court upheld the charge and the
      > prison term on a 3-2
      > vote.
      >
      > More than two dozen medical and public-health
      > groups, including the
      > American Nurses Association and the American
      > Public Health
      > Association, had urged the Supreme Court to take
      > up her appeal. They
      > questioned whether cocaine exposure had caused
      > the stillbirth. They
      > also maintained that the state's prosecution
      > policy could threaten
      > women who smoked or used alcohol during
      > pregnancy.
      >
      > In their appeal in McKnight vs. South Carolina,
      > her lawyers argued
      > the punishment was extreme and violated the
      > Constitution's guarantee
      > of due process of law, since the state law as
      > written did not cover
      > the lifestyles of pregnant women.
      >
      > "We're disappointed this woman could spend a
      > good portion of her life
      > in prison. There was no criminal intent here,"
      > said Wyndi Anderson of
      > the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a
      > group that worked on
      > McKnight's appeal.
      >
      > This is "the first homicide conviction ever of a
      > woman for suffering
      > a stillbirth," said the Drug Policy Alliance, a
      > national group that
      > promotes non-criminal solutions to drug
      > addiction.
      >
      > State prosecutors said McKnight knew that what
      > she was doing was
      > illegal and dangerous. "This is not simply a
      > case involving a tragic
      > stillbirth. She continued to ingest crack
      > cocaine after she knew she
      > was pregnant, and as a result, her child died,"
      > state Attorney
      > General Henry McMaster said.
      >
      > The case did not directly involve the Roe vs.
      > Wade ruling and the
      > right to abortion. In that case, the court said
      > women are generally
      > free to choose abortion prior to the time the
      > fetus is capable of
      > living on its own, which occurs about the 24th
      > week of a pregnancy.
      >
      > In McKnight's case, doctors said her baby died
      > in about the 35th week
      > of the pregnancy.
      >
      > The justices gave no reason for refusing to hear
      > the case. Their
      > action sets no legal precedent. The court
      > remains closely split on
      > the abortion issue, and the justices have
      > steered clear of many state
      > cases that involve pregnancy and abortion.
      >
      >
      >
      > When the government fears the people,
      > that is LIBERTY. When people fear the
      > government, that is TYRANNY.
      >
      > Thomas Jefferson
      > Premium Accounts for Legal Professionals
      > http://1stcounsel.com/
      >
      > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      > ---------------------~-->
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      >
      >
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      >


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    • mike ross
      i also posted this on the libertarian list server. and in general libertarians usually all agree on everthing. but this issue is one issue when a lot of
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 8, 2003
        i also posted this on the libertarian
        list server.

        and in general libertarians usually
        all agree on everthing. but this issue
        is one issue when a lot of libertarians
        have different view points.

        me i say its the womans body and
        she should be able put what ever
        chemicals in it she wants. but some
        other libertarians disagreed and
        think its wrong for the woman to
        take chemicals that harm the child.

        mike




        ---- Begin Original Message ----

        From: thekoba@...
        Sent: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 18:12:51 -0700 (MST)
        To: azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [azsecularhumanists] Re: snort coke, go to jail for murder -
        the drug war gets worse




           ================= Begin forwarded message =================

           From: nebukhadhnasar@... (Abdallah Tahhan)
           To: thekoba@...
           Cc: cbpeek@...
           Subject: Re: snort coke, go to jail for murder - the drug war
        gets worse
           Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 09:15:54 -0700 (PDT)

           
           Dear Kevin,
           
           Yes, I agree that "homicide" in such a case opens up
           lots of very problematic doors.  Since the damage that
           smoking by a pregnant woman can cause an unborn child
           is well publicised, any woman who smokes during
           pregnancy could be similarly prosecuted, at least for
           "child abuse" even if the child is not born dead.
           
           In addition, this sort of punishment implies that
           abortion might be regarded as a form of homicide as
           well.
           
           Comradely,
           
           Eric
           
           
           --- K J WALSH <thekoba@...> wrote:
           >
           >
           >     ================= Begin forwarded message
           > =================
           >    
           >    
           >
           http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/1007scotus0
        7.ht
           >     ml
           >    
           >     Court refuses woman's appeal in stillbirth
           > blamed on cocaine
           >      advertisement
           >      
           >     David G. Savage
           >     Los Angeles Times
           >     Oct. 7, 2003 12:00 AM
           >    
           >    
           >     WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused to hear
           > an appeal Monday from
           >     a South Carolina woman who was the first to be
           > convicted of homicide
           >     for using illegal drugs during pregnancy.
           >    
           >     In 1999, Regina McKnight, then 26 years old and
           > mildly retarded, had
           >     a stillborn child. When medical tests showed the
           > baby had trace
           >     elements from cocaine exposure, McKnight was
           > indicted for "homicide
           >     by child abuse."
           >    
           >     The South Carolina courts earlier had broken new
           > ground by extending
           >     the state's law against child abuse to the
           > unborn. Several women were
           >     prosecuted for harming their babies by using
           > illegal drugs during
           >     pregnancy.
           >    
           >     South Carolina law punishes a woman who
           > intentionally kills her
           >     unborn child with a maximum two-year prison
           > term. But the newly
           >     created crime of "homicide by child abuse"
           > carried a maximum term of
           >     20 years in prison.
           >    
           >     McKnight's lawyers disputed that cocaine abuse
           > caused the death of
           >     her child, but she was convicted and given a
           > 12-year prison term. The
           >     state's supreme court upheld the charge and the
           > prison term on a 3-2
           >     vote.
           >    
           >     More than two dozen medical and public-health
           > groups, including the
           >     American Nurses Association and the American
           > Public Health
           >     Association, had urged the Supreme Court to take
           > up her appeal. They
           >     questioned whether cocaine exposure had caused
           > the stillbirth. They
           >     also maintained that the state's prosecution
           > policy could threaten
           >     women who smoked or used alcohol during
           > pregnancy.
           >    
           >     In their appeal in McKnight vs. South Carolina,
           > her lawyers argued
           >     the punishment was extreme and violated the
           > Constitution's guarantee
           >     of due process of law, since the state law as
           > written did not cover
           >     the lifestyles of pregnant women.
           >    
           >     "We're disappointed this woman could spend a
           > good portion of her life
           >     in prison. There was no criminal intent here,"
           > said Wyndi Anderson of
           >     the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a
           > group that worked on
           >     McKnight's appeal.
           >    
           >     This is "the first homicide conviction ever of a
           > woman for suffering
           >     a stillbirth," said the Drug Policy Alliance, a
           > national group that
           >     promotes non-criminal solutions to drug
           > addiction.
           >    
           >     State prosecutors said McKnight knew that what
           > she was doing was
           >     illegal and dangerous. "This is not simply a
           > case involving a tragic
           >     stillbirth. She continued to ingest crack
           > cocaine after she knew she
           >     was pregnant, and as a result, her child died,"
           > state Attorney
           >     General Henry McMaster said.
           >    
           >     The case did not directly involve the Roe vs.
           > Wade ruling and the
           >     right to abortion. In that case, the court said
           > women are generally
           >     free to choose abortion prior to the time the
           > fetus is capable of
           >     living on its own, which occurs about the 24th
           > week of a pregnancy.
           >    
           >     In McKnight's case, doctors said her baby died
           > in about the 35th week
           >     of the pregnancy.
           >    
           >     The justices gave no reason for refusing to hear
           > the case. Their
           >     action sets no legal precedent. The court
           > remains closely split on
           >     the abortion issue, and the justices have
           > steered clear of many state
           >     cases that involve pregnancy and abortion.
           >    
           >    
           >    
           >     When the government fears the people,
           >     that is LIBERTY.  When people fear the
           >     government, that is TYRANNY.
           >    
           >     Thomas Jefferson
           >     Premium Accounts for Legal Professionals
           >     http://1stcounsel.com/
           >    
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        ---- End Original Message ----




        When the government fears the people,
        that is LIBERTY. When people fear the
        government, that is TYRANNY.

        Thomas Jefferson
        Premium Accounts for Legal Professionals
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