Write a 7 page essay on Keeler v. Superior Court, 2 Cal 3D 619 (1970).
He insisted, upon viewing her pregnant form, the he would “stomp it out of you”, then pushing her against the car and driving his knee sharply into her abdomen (New York State Bar Association, 2010, p.623). After striking his wife in the face several times, she eventually fainted. Upon awaking, Robert Keeler had left the scene of the crime.
Her first move was to return to Stockton where she approached the police, who summoned medical assistance. She was discovered to have significant facial injuries and extensive bruises on her abdomen (loislaw.com, 2010). Upon the advice of medical practitioners, a C-section was performed in which the fetus was discovered to have a fractured skull and was delivered stillborn. Under Penal Code § 187, Robert Keeler was charged with murder as it was determined that the damage caused to the fetus could only have been sustained through external force.
The Supreme Court of Amador County ruled that Robert Keeler could not be held on murder charges or convicted of the crime. The judge in the case cited Penal Code 187 that provides “murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, with malice afterthought” (loislaw.com, 2010, p.2). At this time, in 1970, most of the laws pertaining to murder and identifying what constitutes a human being was related to very old common law from the 1850s. There were no precedents set that clearly indicated fetus rights and such rights in relation to classification as a human being. This common law involved protections for individuals who had been born alive, and Teresa Keeler’s child had been stillborn. The judge had no legal viability by which to uphold murder charges.
The judge further ruled that citing other relevant laws other than those spelled out in Penal Code 187 would deny Mr. Keeler due process afforded him by law (loislaw.com). Though Robert Keeler’s domestic assault charges were upheld, there were absolutely no