Maryland Fetal Homicide Act Brings First Conviction
Special Report - April 3, 2008
A Maryland jury has found a man guilty of murdering a woman and her unborn child in the state’s first conviction under its fetal homicide law. Maryland’s fetal homicide law (HB 398, 2005) states that “prosecution may be instituted for murder or manslaughter of a viable fetus.” The law defines viability as “that stage when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the womb.”
North Carolina currently does not have a similar fetal homicide law in its state code, although legislators have introduced such bills in the past, such as the 2007 session’s HB 263Unborn Victims of Violence and SB 295Fetal Murder. So far, no fetal homicide bill that has been introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly has passed either house.
Bill Brooks, President of the North Carolina Policy Council, commented, “Unlike Maryland, if this murder had occurred in North Carolina, there would be no justice for the unborn child. This murder, as well as the recent slayings in Onslow County, demonstrate the need for North Carolina to pass its own fetal homicide law.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.