A Colorado woman, seven months into her pregnancy, was lured to the house of a woman advertising the sale of baby clothes on Craigslist. When she got to the house, the advertiser then stabbed her repeatedly in the stomach before taking out the unborn child.
The assailant, Dynel Lane, then took the child to the hospital and claimed to have had a miscarriage. The unborn child died. According to a March 19 Huffington Post article, Lane has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.
She will not be charged for the murder of the unborn child. The case itself has brought up two problems; the first of which being the the entanglement of America in abortion politics.
“Under Colorado law, essentially no murder charges can be brought if the child did not live outside of the mother,” said Stan Garnett, district attorney of liberal Boulder County in a March 20 Associated Press article.
Essentially for Lane to be charged for the homicide of the child, the baby must have been alive outside of the body of the mother and the act that led to the death of the baby must have occurred outside of the body as well.
What plays into this is how late a woman can get an abortion in the U.S. It’s dependent on whether it’s viable for the fetus to live outside the womb and whether it’s done for health reasons for the mother. According to AmericanPregnancy.org most medical communities establish 24 weeks gestation, the later part of the second trimester, as the earliest time of viability. Most often, how late a pregnancy can be terminated depends on the abortion laws of that state. She was 28 weeks along.
The abortion argument should not be present in this case. Not only was the victims child viable, what has not been accounted for by the Colorado prosecutors in assessing charges for this case is the maliciousness of the attack.
For Colorado to not charge Lane for murder would be to slap the criminal justice system in the face. If they’re willing to say that it was in fact child abuse that led to death then through the law they are in fact agreeing that it was a child and she was responsible for its death. Whatever Lane’s sentence may end up being at the end of this it would not be justice served unless the victim was able to hear what that Lane murdered her child from the standpoint of the criminal justice system. Lane ripped her future and replaced it with years and years of mental recovering if not physical recovery as well.
The second issue this case brought up is the facilitation of violent crimes through unline classifieds.
This case is not the only time in 2015 that Craigslist has been used to harm those who responded or vice versa. In January an elderly couple in Georgia met with a prospective buyer of their 1966 Mustang convertible. According to a Jan. 28 Washington Post article Police found their GMC Envoy submerged in water, and their bodies nearby. The prospective buyer and alleged killer, Ronnie “Jay” Towns, has been charged with their deaths.
A March 3, Chicago Tribune article said that these types of crimes have led to some police stations to set up safe zones for Craigslist seller and buyer to meet up. In Illinois some police departments have begun to offer up their lobbies as safe zones to those carrying out Craigslist transactions.
This is the type of safe haven that people like the stabbed pregnant woman and the slain elderly couple deserved to have been able to use. In order for justice to be carried out in both circumstances, police departments across the U.S. should follow the lead of Illinois police departments.
It seems like the best answer in both of the issues that have come up in the Dynel Lane case is common sense.