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Keeler v Supeior Court Notes - Common law and under...

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Keeler v. Superior Court. 470 P.2d 617 (Cal. 1970) Revolves around adequate notice. Legislature did not say or mean that a viable fetus is considered a human being. Petitioner = Mr. Keeler Mrs. Keeler drove home with the two girls. Mr. Keeler assisted her out, mentioned that he found out Mrs. Keeler was pregnant (but they were going to have a divorce), and he kneed her in the abdomen, and punched her, until she fainted. She drove back, got police and medical assistant, and got a Caesarian section (C- section). Fetus was severely fractured, and was delivered stillborn. If fetus was born at that time, it had 75 -96% surviving chance. Fetus had no air in lungs, and umbilical cord was intact. Charges: I. Unlawfully kill a human being, to with Baby Girl Vogt, with malice afterthought (planned ahead) II. Willful infliction of traumatic injury upon his wife III. Assult on Mrs. Keeler by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (His motion to set aside info for lack for probable was denied.)
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Unformatted text preview: Common law and under California statute a stillborn fetus could not be deemed a homicide victim. Even if they could adjust the code to include fetus, it would not apply to Keeler’s case because it was before the code was in place. Issue: Wither or not inacting this code of law that killing a fetus is considered a homicide, and if changing it could charge Keeler with the crime. They can’t charge him with the crime because of ex post facto. Meaning that all new laws don’t work retrospectively, and people have the right to be informed of what is right and what is wrong. Dissent The spectrum can be altered at both ends of life and death. People who were pronounced dead, have been through modern science alive again. So being pronounce dead does not mean you are dead forever unless you can’t be revived again. Same with being born. One who has not been born yet, but is viable (can survive), with a high chance, could just as easily be announced alive....
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