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Indiana Woman Charged After Suicide Attempt


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Yesterday, the ACLU submitted a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Marion County Superior Court in Indiana to dismiss the prosecution of Ms. Bei Bei Shuai.

The facts of this case are heartbreaking. On December 23, 2010, Shuai, a 34-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from a major depressive disorder, attempted to take her own life. Friends found her in time and persuaded her to get help. Six days later, Shuai underwent cesarean surgery and delivered a premature newborn girl who, tragically, died four days later.

On March 14, 2011, Shuai was arrested, jailed, and charged with murder and attempted feticide. Had Shuai, who is being represented by National Advocates for Pregnant Women and local attorneys, not been pregnant when she attempted suicide, she would not have been charged with any crime at all.

http://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom/pregnant-women-need-support-not-prison

The state is misconstruing the criminal laws in this case in such a way that any pregnant woman could be prosecuted for doing (or attempting) anything that may put her health at risk, regardless of the outcome of her pregnancy.

That's right: according to the ways the laws are being applied here, the state of Indiana believes that any pregnant woman who smokes or lives with a smoker, who works long hours on her feet, who is overweight, who doesn't exercise, or who fails to get regular prenatal care, is a felon. And the list of ways these laws could be construed to unconstitutionally prosecute pregnant women goes on and on.

Let's see. The woman started out suicidal, then lost a child and now it's in the best interest of the state to prosecute her for murder. That makes sense.

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Is there anything about the matter that the prosecution actually understands? Or is he just a big dickhead? He should go move to WI and that state should join the So while they all secede and I could like my country a lot more.

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This is the kind of case my dad used to testify in (forensic psychiatrist). I hope they find a good one, because the state will have their own shrink interview her.

Frankly, it is kind of attenuated mens rea. I am wondering if a competent defense attorney might be able to get it thrown out in preliminaries. I would hope so.

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Unbelievable how there still are so many people out there who don't understand MI. What, is this supposed to be a deterrant to pregnant women from trying to commit suicide? Yeah, right. Basically it says that if you attempt suicide you better damn well succeed. This is so outrageous that it is beyond words.

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Welcome to Indiana, the Texas of the North. We don't have many laws out in these parts, and few we do have often get misconstrued by politicians, lawyers, judges, and the like.

Things here are backwards. Not backwards as in old-fashioned, but I mean, things seem to truly run backwards here sometimes.

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How horrible for this woman, my god, can you imagine the pain she's in? It doesn't say what her bond was set at, but I'm sure they made it some ridiculous amount that will keep her in jail.

I lived in rural Indiana for three years and it's like time travel back to about 1955. Of all the places I've lived, I liked it the absoulute least. I'm not surprised this happened there, nothing that happens there that is totally screwed up would surprise me.

Here's an article from the (totally lame) main paper in the state, the Indianapolis Star-Tribune. At least it sounds like some other groups are stepping in on her behalf:

Indy Star - "Charges in death of fetus should be dropped, experts say"

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Kodos -- You're right, our governor is a chickensh*t. Honest and practical man but tends to sidestep anything important since those things are difficult to handle with honesty and practicality. Mitch Daniels annoys the hell out of me, I'm not voting for his Lieutenant in 2012.

Catnapper -- My deepest sympathies to you for having to survive 3 years in rural IN. Many parts of this state are stuck in 1955 (I described it using that exact same year a few weeks ago!).

Indianapolis is slightly more progressive. I'm actually quite shocked to hear that this woman was charged with "foeticide" or whatever it is that Indiana probably has no laws against but the socially conservative prosecutor wanted to get some brownie points with his electorate. Given the county's makeup, any liberal running against him should stomp him out pretty well in 2012 if he doesn't change his mind on charging this woman with murder.

Also, the local newspaper is called the Indianapolis Star-News, not the Star-Tribune. Actually I think it's just called the Indianapolis Star now since the afternoon News edition was dropped a few years ago. :smartass:

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Because of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, someone who kills an unborn child can be charged with a count of murder (excluding legal abortion, and the sentence for the crime cannot be the death penalty). Some states had similar laws already in place before that act was passed as well. With that logic, would her successful attempt have been deemed a murder-suicide? And because she lived and the baby died, now is it just murder using that logic?

By the way, I'm also in the they should drop the charges camp. I'm just more shocked than anything that she could actually be charged with something with the laws as they are currently written. The fact that she was pregnant probably kept her from deciding to commit suicide sooner, but knowledge of the impact on others can only keep one going for so long. Also, is this really going to be a precedent? You'd figure that at least a few of the people who commit or attempt suicide every year are pregnant and that this has happened before. Or maybe it is a precedent only because this is the first time someone has pressed charges on the suicidal person.

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:Trigger: :Trigger: :Trigger: :Trigger:

Dear women:

You are worthless as anything other than baby incubators. We don't give a shit if you try to kill yourself (there's plenty of other incubators to take your place), but you'd better not harm that there innocent baby. In fact, the punishment should be 10x worse should that dead baby happen to have a penis.

Should've killed yourself right the first time, you psycho slut, then maybe you wouldn't have to deal with this. I'm sure Satan's awaiting you with a huge grin and open arms. *spits*

Sincerely,

Indiana

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