Saturday, March 28, 2015


You probably read about this awful case last week, where a deranged woman lured another woman, who was seven months pregnant, to her house, where she attacked the pregnant woman and cut the baby from her belly and put her (the baby) in a bathtub, where she died.

So of course this becomes yet another test of the bizarre obsession this country has, not with protecting the unborn, as they might want you to believe, but in demonstrating their eagerness to rigorously enforce any and all conceivable aspects of that protection.

In some cases, that desire to demonstrate may extend even to scaring the shit out of fourth-graders.

Now, this is certainly one of those cases that offends sensibilities across the political spectrum. But it's also easy to see how something like this can become a rallying cry for any number of misguided pro-life poison pill laws that could ultimately result in, say, punishing women for having miscarriages.

The question over whether Dynel Lane is guilty of murder or not seems to hinge on the question of whether the baby she cut from the mother was viable -- that is, did the baby breathe on her own after being extracted from her mother? So far, it sounds like she probably did breathe for at least a few minutes before succumbing.

So is it murder? Yeah, it's probably murder. Unfortunately, from a legal standpoint, the state has to prove not just the intent to kill, but also that the victim was even viable in the first place. It sucks, but that is the framework under which we have all agreed to abide. Don't like it? Then change it to your liking, and watch it get immediately abused by the cynical and the feckless. That's how this here thing operates, you know.

I get the impulse, if not the actual call to action, of wanting to show up and protest with "Murder is Murder" signs over this. I really do. But what these folks need to realize is that our legal system is, and generally has been, not about what somebody did but what you can prove they did. Just ask the numbnuts Florida prosecutors who tried to nail Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman. And the prosecutors simply realize that they would have a hell of a time proving that Dynel Lane intended to kill that baby, or that she could even have survived outside her mother's womb. Did she draw breath, or not? How do you prove that, and how reliable is that proof and/or testimony?

Additionally, the prosecutors know that the things they can nail Lane with are more than enough to ensure that she never sees the light of day again. We all have our high and mighty principles and such like, but the bottom line is that you go with your sure hand, and they'll have zero trouble nailing this psycho bitch to the wall. She'll either die in prison, or get a mercy release way down the road, beaten, broken, ready to shuffle off the proverbial mortal coil. Her life as she knew it effectively over, whether or not her crazy ass winds up on death row.

The most passionate of these protesters are in a philosophical entanglement of their own making. As they tend to be devout to a fault, they on the one hand will tell you that justice is reserved for their particular iteration of the almighty, while on the other insisting that man's justice be applied swiftly and with maximum impact. The thing is that their version of "justice" is retributive only. Not that someone like Lane could likely be rehabilitated, but it wouldn't matter to them if she could be.

Extreme cases such as this end up becoming affirmations for the armchair executioners, touted as if they were routine examples of anything. But it's really just another daily reminder of the law of averages -- there are 320 million people in this country, and some of them are assholes.

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