In the wake of District Attorney Stan Garnett’s announcement that he will not pursue a murder charge against Dynel Lane, Colorado Republicans are promising a fetal homicide law.
Dynel Lane persuaded Michelle Wilkins to come to her house through a Craiglist ad for baby clothes. When Wilkins arrived, Lane stabbed, beat, and strangled her; then, she removed 7-month-old Baby Aurora from Wilkins’ womb and kidnapped her.
Wilkins survived, but Baby Aurora did not. Garnett has claimed he cannot pursue a charge of murder because the autopsy did not show that Baby Aurora lived outside her mother’s womb.
However, autopsies on newly born babies do not necessarily prove whether the baby’s heart was beating outside of the womb or whether the baby gasped for air. If Baby Aurora did indeed gasp for air – and there was a report to police that she did – her inability to take a full breath was likely due to her lack of medical care and the suctioning that many newborns need. The lack of care was directly caused by Lane’s failure to bring Baby Aurora to the hospital immediately after birth.
It could also be argued that Baby Aurora died because of Lane’s act of kidnapping – a felony. When a person dies during the commission of a felony, a first degree murder charge can be brought.
Here’s the basic point: Garnett is correct that Colorado’s law makes it very difficult to charge Lane with murder. Colorado law does not recognize a baby before birth – at any age – as a person. However, the law is also uncertain in application, and if Garnett wanted to attempt to bring clarity to the law through charging Lane with murder, he could have. Sadly, Garnett has publicly admitted to his advocacy for Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood performs abortions on babies who are the same age as Baby Aurora and has no desire to see these babies recognized as persons under the law. Garnett also represents Boulder, the city where late-term abortionist Warren Hern works.
Colorado Republicans have decided to do what they can to make sure such an injustice never happens in the state again. Senate President Bill Cadman told the public that a real fetal homicide law is being written and released this statement:
“This is a sad day for the mothers of Colorado. And for the fathers of Colorado. And for every Coloradan who was stunned to learn that no murder charges will be brought on behalf of a Longmont infant savagely cut from its mother’s body in one of the most horrific crimes in recent memory.
This shocking lack of murder charges, in defense of an obvious murder victim, not only deeply offends our sense of humanity and justice. It also highlights a void in Colorado law that must be addressed if we want to give a measure of justice to this child that Boulder’s DA can’t or won’t.
This was a child. This child was murdered. That Coloradans have no way to hold the murderer responsible, or deliver justice for the victims, is a gap in Colorado’s justice system which can no longer be ignored.
It is past time to demand justice for murdered infants by changing Colorado law so that prosecutors will be able to bring homicide charges in cases like this. Our mothers deserve nothing less. All our parents and children deserve nothing less. Our basic sense of justice and humanity demands nothing less. Let’s make Colorado a place where mothers and their unborn children are valued, protected and enjoy equal protection under the law.”