April 23, 2003
case raises ethical questions
I read with interest that the authorities have filed two
murder charges against Scott Peterson, to include the death
of his unborn son. How on earth can the authorities approve
abortion, on the one hand, and charge Scott Peterson with
murder for the death of his unborn child? The death of
an unborn child is not the death of a person, if abortion
is legal! If it is the death of a person (a murder, i.e.),
then abortion is murder. Without taking a stand on abortion
-- a separate issue -- where is the integrity in our legal
Your observations are thought provoking. The
legal system is charging Scott Peterson (the husband
of one victim, and father of the other, unborn victim),
with two counts of murder.
Your questions do emphasize the seeming contradiction
of causing death (abortion, prior to the birthing process)
and the ending of a life of an already born and functioning
human being. Those who practice law and jurisprudence
can distinguish the differences. Did the murderer or
murderers take the life of one person or two? Obviously,
this depends upon the definition of when life begins?
You asked about the integrity of the legal system and
you seem upset with actions taken so far. What we have
seen to date is the proposed administration of justice.
We know that police officers do not practice law, they
administer the law.
are pinpointing the contradictions between when life
begins for those who choose legal abortions and
when life begins for those who are charged with murder
of a yet unborn infant. Integrity requires that one have
a consistent definition of when life begins. There are
some who suggest that human life begins only when the
unborn can exist outside of the mother’s womb.
Others define life as early as conception.
reporting of the events so far might lead one to conclude
that this hideous set of circumstance will be
tried by the media, but that is unlikely. Even those
who want to convict immediately and harshly will come
up against a system that does understand due process
and will steadfastly pursue justice – for all parties
that have been afflicted and affected by these atrocious
The integrity of the legal system is not yet in question.
When the case is resolved, each of us can then judge
the integrity of our judicial system. Because integrity
matters, we will watch this case carefully.