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Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2000 /29 Shevat, 5760

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Male justices shy away from infanticide judgments -- ALYSSA MEMBRILA from Santa Ana, Calif., brought to my attention a remarkable judicial decision recently in Orange County. It seems that the 4th District California Court of Appeals decided to reduce the sentences of two women convicted of killing their newborn infants, because the court determined that there was insufficient evidence to convict the women of murder. According to the Orange County Register, both may be released from prison after serving only a few years. The court said they should have been tried for involuntary manslaughter. We'll get to that later.

In a letter to the editor of the paper, Alyssa wrote, "I was outraged at the mind-set and lack of regard for human life displayed not only by these 'mothers' but also the judges."

The judges' mind-set is indeed outrageous. In the written opinion concerning the woman named Anderson, who stuffed her newborn son in the trunk of her car, the justices said, "We are uncomfortable as an all-male appellate panel reviewing a ruling by a trial judge also male -- saying exactly what a woman should do or can do immediately after giving birth, alone and in a weakened state."

In other words, because men don't give birth, they cannot possibly make a valid judgment about what constitutes murder? Or if a woman has just given birth alone and is in a "weakened" state, she is exonerated from obeying the Sixth Commandment? I guess only female judges can sit on cases of maternal infanticide. Make that, female judges who have given birth alone. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?

As Alyssa went on to say in her letter to the editor, "These judges are assigned the duty of protecting the innocent by ruling for or against the perpetrators of crime, regardless of their gender. This is where the women's rights, pro-abortion groups have brought us. Now even new life outside the womb is meaningless, compared to a woman's right to do whatever she damn well pleases." Especially if she is in a weakened state, I guess.

I totally agree with Alyssa. As I have often said, sanctioning the wholesale killing of babies in the womb is the top of a slippery slope that opens the door for sanctioning the killing of newborns. And the radical feminists have rushed to the defense of many teen mothers who killed their babies rather than face their family's ire or their peers' scorn. Women can, with impunity, kill their babies inside their bodies, or outside if they are "in a weakened state." There seems to be no end to the extenuation of circumstances when it comes to giving women the benefit of the doubt. OK, so that's the feminists' excuse. But how do we explain the all-male 4th District California Court of Appeals?

As for the other conviction, although 12 jurors found Sanchez guilty of disposing of her baby in a trash can 160 feet from her home, and she and her dead child share DNA, the appellate judges found there was insufficient evidence to convict her of first-degree murder. "The evidence merely establishes a relationship between Sanchez and the victim. There is no physical or forensic evidence connecting the defendant to the baby's suffocation."

The jury found sufficient evidence to convict the woman of murder in her repeated denial of being the child's mother -- even in the face of the DNA evidence and her determination to give birth at home alone -- and in her lack of remorse or sadness when shown pictures of her dead infant.

The judicial opinion did concede that there was child neglect in both cases but that it did not rise to the level of murder. Well, guess what, your honors: Neglecting a newborn means certain death. It's not as if they can get up and scramble themselves some eggs or climb out of a trash can.

Of course, the female public defender who argued the Anderson case says she's "delighted" by the judicial ruling. I wonder how she would feel if the perpetrator were an abusive husband and the victim his long-suffering wife. Do you think she'd be delighted if he got off with involuntary manslaughter because he was clinically depressed and alcoholic? I don't.

Feminists always complain about a double standard. This is one they wholeheartedly endorse.

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