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Michigan Court Rules Fetus Defensible with Force

Michigan Court Rules Fetus Can Be Defended With Lethal Force

Jaclyn Louise Kurr was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for using a knife to kill her boyfriend, Antonio Pena, on October 9, 1999. She was sentenced to five to twenty years in prison. The court said she stabbed Pena after he punched her twice in the stomach, threatening her preborn child, and came toward her again.  Judge Richard Ryan Lamb of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court refused to allow the jury to hear the "defense of others" theory because, as Judge Lamb said, this argument only applied when there was a "living human being" independent of the mother. (AP - 10/16/02)

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently reversed the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court's conviction of this woman and ordered a new trial because Judge Richard Ryan Lamb had not instructed the jury about the "defense of others" theory and they considered it applicable to the case.  The pregnant woman has the right to use deadly force to protect her fetus (that's Latin for "baby) from attack even if her own life is not in danger!

The appeals court did not directly address a key issue in abortion cases: when a fetus becomes a "person" (legal-speak to differentiate between innocent human beings our government protects, persons, and innocent human beings our government destroys and allows to be destroyed, a.k.a. non-persons). "This issue ... is not raised by the parties, is not pertinent to the resolution of the ... case, and does not drive our ruling today," the court said in its 3-0 decision last week.  The court said the issue was whether an unborn fetus was "entitled to the protection of the laws of the state of Michigan such that an individual, typically the mother, may defend the fetus during an assault against the mother."

Nevertheless, as the case justifies the mother's use of lethal force to protect her fetus it very much implicates the boyfriend for "murder" of a living human being in his attempt to kill the fetus; that the human fetus is an innocent, living human being is implied in the decision.  The "defense of others" or "justifiable homicide" defense against murder doesn't apply to using lethal force to protect animals or trees or rocks or "blobs of non-living tissue".  Only living human beings. I cannot employ lethal force against someone who wants to cut my grass without my permission. However, I can employ lethal force against someone who wants to kill my preborn baby without permission, and this case lends credence to natural right of self-defense and defense of others.  Although the court doesn't admit it, clearly this is a defense of the humanity and innocence of the preborn child.  This same assumption, though unspoken, is implied in the statutes of half of the states in the Union who will try someone for double-homicide if they kill a pregnant woman. 

Americans who respect the God-given right to life appreciate the Michigan Court of Appeals refusal to discriminate against the preborn human being in this case.  This pregnant woman did not commit "murder" when she employed lethal force to stop her boyfriend from killing her preborn baby, but rather, "justifiable homicide".  God's law wouldn't condemn her as a criminal but praise her as a hero, and man's laws should be based upon God's laws.  "Justifiable homicide" is already a good defense in our society for using lethal force to stop already-born humans from assault, and Judge Richard Ryan Lamb's discrimination against the preborn human is arbitrary and unjustified.  Mrs. Kurr's jury should have been allowed to hear her "defense of others" argument.  If the fetus she was trying to defend really is an innocent living human being whose life was in imminent danger and if her lethal force under scrutiny really was non-malicious and calculated to defend that innocent life from lethal assault, then the jury very well may have decided in favor of innocent human life if common sense and justice prevailed.  Should juries refuse to convict those like Mrs. Kurr who use lethal force to stop feticide, even practicing their jury nullification rights to do so, this could in time cripple Roe v. Wade!

"Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.  Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Patrick Johnston

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