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Murder Charge Dropped in C-Section Case

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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:01 AM
Original message
Murder Charge Dropped in C-Section Case
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&e=4...

The woman accused of murdering one of her twins by failing to undergo a timely Caesarean section pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of child endangerment.

Melissa Ann Rowland had been charged with murder for failing to follow doctors' advice to undergo the procedure, which they said was necessary to save the life of her twins. Under a plea bargain, the murder charge was dropped.

Prosecutors said Rowland, 28, acted with "depraved indifference" when she allegedly ignored doctors' repeated warnings to undergo a C-section to save the babies' lives.

On Wednesday, she admitted using cocaine in the weeks before she finally underwent the C-section that produced a stillborn boy. The second child, a girl who survived and has been adopted, was found with cocaine and alcohol in her system.
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TroglodyteScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hmm
Can't say I'm happy or unhappy about this...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm unhappy.
The murder charge should never have been there to use as a bargaining chip. But, since it was never litigated, it's only a precedent in the prosecutor's mind...
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Me too. ALL charges should have been dropped.
Her attorney must have advised "Look, you only have $500, and I'm almost into 'Pro Bono' territory as it is. I suggest you take the plea, because you can't aford to go to trial..."

Do I dislike lawyers? You BETCHA I do!
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. She must have had a crappy lawyer
There is no way a jury would have convicted her of murder. Her lawyer should have called the prosecutor's bluff and insisted on a jury trial. A terrible precedent has been set if prosecutors can bring this kind of charge after the fact. It would be one thing if a judge had issued a court order for a c-section and the woman had ignored it. Without that, it was the woman ignoring a doctor's advice. That is not a crime.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm not sure I like this precedent
Murder, depraved indifference, child endangerment... nope, I don't like where this is going.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. It's an awful lot like controlling reproduction, isn't it?
Reminds me of a conversation I had with a cop fried of mine. We were talking about a parent doing something with a kid (I forget what) and getting arrested when it was none of the government's business, and he said that kids don't belong to the parents, they belong to the state. He used the word "belong." I questioned him on it, he wouldn't back down.

Governments are building a structure to make sure kids are raised the way they want, and parents are afraid to step out of line.
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Roaming Donating Member (476 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. Murder was going way too far, but I think she she be charged for
endangerment. The precedence is there; other mothers who have taken drugs or alcohol in pregnancy have been held responsible for their babies' condition after birth. Now her surviving baby may have lifelong problems due to her illegal drug use... Hope not.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. So when are charges to be pressed against the government for
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. sickening
n/t
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Excellent point!
;)
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. I hope the two counts refer to the coke and booze in the live child
and not a count for the live one and the stillborn, because the stillborn didn't legally exist. I guess the lawyers realized that a murder charge wasn't worth risking their reputations on.

:headbang:
rocknation
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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. I don't like this at all
I replied to the other thread about this (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... ) but the fact remains--this woman is suffering from a mental illness already, and is defenseless in the hands of a public defender who might want to get himself out of this quickly.

I tried calling Gloria Allred's office, and the ACLU about it--Allred's office said they can't get involved in cases where they haven't been asked to intervene by the family, and the ACLU hasn't called me back.

I'm a nobody, but this case is one in which the left does not win. First, it's a test on Bush* new "unborn fetus" law, it's a test on the viability of abortion laws in general, it's a test on women's rights over their own bodies.

This poor woman is at the center of a tornado of self-serving men who want only to see women subjugated again, and who want to make certain that we "understand" our place in society.

As I pointed out in the other thread, the woman had 2 other births by C-section, so it's highly unlikely she would have refused a C-section on the basis of it being only a C-section. I don't put it past any doctor to have lied about what he/she said to the woman when she refused treatment.
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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Ferguson v. City of Charleston
I agree this case still sets a very bad precedent. The neocons never recovered from the SCOTUS decision in Ferguson v. City of Charleston and this is their way of getting around it. No more doctor/patient privelege or Fourth Ammendment for pregnant women.
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