Scott Peterson case reveals inconsistency in the law

Scott Peterson was found guilty for both the first-degree murder of his wife as well as second-degree murder of his unborn child.

What I find a little peculiar is that one can be charged with murdering an unborn child in Scott Peterson’s situation, yet abortions are considered legal under the precedent of Roe v. Wade.

I personally am pro-life. But whether or not you are pro-life or pro-choice, there seems to be an inconsistency within the law. Someone other than the mother can be charged with terminating the baby’s life (whether it be directly or indirectly through the death of the mother herself), yet when the mother makes the decision to abort the baby, the law doesn’t apply.

The state of California, as well as all other states, either should not charge someone with the murder of an unborn child or make all abortions completely illegal (and practically speaking, I don’t the see latter happening anytime soon).

I believe consistency and principle are more important when it comes to the law rather than tethering situational philosophy to legal implications. To solve this inconsistency in a practical way, Scott Peterson should be found guilty of only one count of murder (his wife’s) and then should have extra years and/or the death penalty automatically placed on Peterson’s sentence because his wife carried an unborn child.

MATTHEW S. MOON ’05

Nov. 12, 2004