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STANEK: Is a crying baby alive?
Illinois Leader ^ | Wednesday, October 01, 2003 | Jill Stanek

Posted on 10/02/2003 8:30:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Is a crying baby alive? No, not necessarily, decided Cook County Circuit Court Judge Karen Thompson last November when she acquitted a mother previously convicted twice of murdering her newborn daughter.

Thus is the latest of increasingly grotesque decisions made by liberal judges to accommodate abortion - first of unborn babies, then of partially delivered babies, and now of babies who are delivered but have not “established a separate and independent life,” as required by Thompson in her reversal.

In question is whether a six-pound, 19-inch baby girl was “completely separated” at delivery when her mother, Elizabeth Ehlert, killed her.

Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to intervene, arguing that “complete separation” would mean the umbilical cord must be cut.

“What you have here is the horrific scenario in which a mother who doesn’t want her baby delivers the baby, the baby is out and still connected by the cord, and under the complete separation doctrine… she can kill that baby,” said assistant state’s attorney Peter Fischer, according to the Daily Herald. “She can stab it, she can strangle it, do anything, and it’s not murder…. It’s nothing.”

The state’s attorney is correct. A baby is not completely separated from her mother so long as no one cuts the cord, which is attached at one end to the baby’s navel and at the other end to the placenta inside the mother. It normally takes five to 30 minutes for the placenta to be delivered following a baby's birth.

On August 21, 1990, Ehlert delivered her daughter in her Palatine bedroom alone. Boyfriend Steven King heard the baby cry for two seconds from where he stood in the hall. After that he heard nothing until Ehlert called for him to hand her a garbage bag, saying the baby had been born dead. She proceeded to throw the garbage bag with the baby in it into the creek behind her house. Workers found the baby downstream some days later.

According to court documents, Kingwas “credible,” “honest and sincere,” and “truly shaken up” by the incident.

Ehlert was found to lie and change her story several times about the events surrounding the birth. She lied that she was even pregnant during the months prior. She refused to allow King to call an ambulance when she was in labor.

Cook County assistant chief medical examiner Dr. Mitra Kalelkar testified the baby was healthy and had air in her lungs. Even before knowing the circumstances of the baby's death, she "had a suspicion that this baby was born alive and that the cause of death would be drowning," and requested further police investigation.

Prosecutors pointed out babies rarely cry when their heads appear during delivery. At that point the torso is still under great pressure within the birth canal, and the lungs have not yet inflated. The first cry is usually heard only after the baby is born.

In 1995, a jury found Ehlert guilty of murder.

But the first conviction was reversed “because the prosecution presented irrelevant and highly prejudicial evidence that defendant had two abortions,” said court documents. Prosecutors were merely demonstrating Ehlert had a history of killing her children, but the court ruffled at the insinuation. In Illinois, if someone kills a preborn baby against her mother’s wishes, that person is charged with homicide. If a mother kills her unborn baby by abortion, it is her choice.

Nevertheless Ehlert was convicted again by bench trial, the conviction Thompson Tobin overturned last November.

Progressive lawmakers have attempted to revise Illinois’ antiquated “born alive” definition each of the past three years in light of medical advances as well as the discovery of type of abortion being committed in Illinois hospitals that sometimes results in babies being aborted alive and left to die.

But pro-abortionists have repeatedly killed the measure, called the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

President Bush signed the federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act last year, but that only relates to federal law and postdates the murder in question.

At issue is more than Baby Girl Ehlert’s murder. At issue is an added feature to abortion.

If a baby does not have rights until completely separated from her mother, then it follows to be perfectly legal for hospital or abortion clinic staff to deliver a baby and not cut the cord until mom decides if she wants the baby. What if the baby is a girl when mom wants a boy? What if mom and the boyfriend at her side are both white, but the baby is obviously mixed race (as I have witnessed)? Why was the girl who delivered at her prom and threw the baby in the trash convicted? If her baby was not separated when allowed to drown in the toilet, was not that legal?

It is almost a surprise that State's Attorney Devine is pursuing justice for Baby Girl Ehlert. But he is a welcome ally in the fight to protect innocent babies from murder.

***************


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionlist; courts; hospitals; illinois; medicine; nhs; prolife; seeninthesky
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Photo of a moving, crying, not-quite-alive baby according to Cook County Circuit Court Judge Karen Thompson. Because the umbilical cord has not yet been cut, the baby is not "completely separated" from his or her mother.

1 posted on 10/02/2003 8:30:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: All
Aww man! Enough of the fundraiser posts!!!
Only YOU can make fundraiser posts go away. Please contribute!

2 posted on 10/02/2003 8:31:47 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: nickcarraway
Yes, the new "complete birth" abortion, distinct from the "partial birth" abortion.
3 posted on 10/02/2003 8:32:39 PM PDT by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: nickcarraway; bunchofbs; JonathansMommie
What is wrong with these people?
4 posted on 10/02/2003 8:38:33 PM PDT by netmilsmom (Just because they're moving their lips doesn't mean they have anything to say)
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To: coloradan
Oh, my God. This sickens me. What in the world was this stupid liberal judge thinking???
5 posted on 10/02/2003 8:38:37 PM PDT by Roselani
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To: coloradan
This is horrific.

Protect the baby humans.

It seems like the ban on partial birth abortion has been bouncing around between the House, the Senate, the House etc. an interminable period of time.

Congress and the people have clearly spoken loud and long against this barbaric practice. Send it to the President to sign posthaste.

6 posted on 10/02/2003 8:42:12 PM PDT by YepYep
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To: Roselani
The continuing devaluation of human life.
7 posted on 10/02/2003 8:42:43 PM PDT by sbelew
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To: nickcarraway
and now of babies who are delivered but have not “established a separate and independent life,”

That means I can kill my kids now that I'm paying their college bills. After all, they haven't “established a separate and independent life.” The spinning and twisting the "Pro-abortion at any cost" lobby has to use is bizarre. It would be funny if it weren't so damned serious.

8 posted on 10/02/2003 8:42:55 PM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: Roselani
"What in the world was this stupid liberal judge thinking???"

She's most likely thinking that there are already too many people taking up her air, that she knows best for all, that there is no God, and if only Hillary! can achieve the Presidency of the US the Revolution will succeed.

What she should be thinking, on the other hand, is that she's going to hell when she dies.

9 posted on 10/02/2003 8:43:09 PM PDT by jocon307 (GO RUSH GO)
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To: tpaine; JohnGalt; exodus
Related story
10 posted on 10/02/2003 8:43:32 PM PDT by thoughtomator (I told you so)
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To: Roselani
What in the world was this stupid liberal judge thinking???

Congratulations! You managed to use "liberal judge" and "thinking" in the same sentence. :)

11 posted on 10/02/2003 8:44:36 PM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: nickcarraway
Cases like this will drive the backlash.

The thing about backlashes, is you rarely see them coming.
12 posted on 10/02/2003 8:47:49 PM PDT by Imal (I set my browser to "Maximum Sarcasm", then broke off the knob.)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
Touche! What was I thinking?!
13 posted on 10/02/2003 8:49:01 PM PDT by Roselani
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To: nickcarraway; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
Time to impeach the judge and the politician who appointed her. We were warned many yrs. ago about the communist and secular humanist intrusion into our society and nobody listened since they thought this stuff would never happen. Well it's happening and it's going to continue until something is done. The schools are inculcating naturalism and the culture of death in the class, students become: judges, lawyers, politicians and teachers as adults.

KAREN THOMPSON TOBIN - QUALIFIED
Judge Karen Thompson Tobin is "QUALIFIED" for retention as a Circuit Court Judge. Judge Tobin is a knowledgeable, thoughtful, hardworking and conscientious judge. She possesses an excellent temperament and is an asset to the bench.

http://www.chicagobar.org/public/news/10_11_00.asp
http://venus.soci.niu.edu/~archives/ABOLISH/rick-halperin/feb03/0095.html
http://www.crimlaw.org/defbrief231.html
http://keepandbeararms.com/news/kabanews/display_day_archive.asp?d=10%2F5%2F2001
14 posted on 10/02/2003 9:20:30 PM PDT by Coleus (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: nickcarraway
babies who are delivered but have not “established a separate and independent life,”

A baby who is breathing HAS established a separate and independent life, even if the placenta is still temporarily attatched. It is no longer only dependent on the umbilical cord and placenta for oxygen. If the mother was killed at that point, the baby could still live.

15 posted on 10/02/2003 9:21:33 PM PDT by knuthom
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To: coloradan
It's gotta get worse before it gets better. It can't get too much worse than this crap so maybe we're about to start getting better.
16 posted on 10/02/2003 9:21:36 PM PDT by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig ("I've got a feeling you've got a heart like mine. Let's stomp some rat ba!!$, you can let it shine.")
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To: Coleus
Thanks for the heads up!
17 posted on 10/02/2003 9:24:09 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: nickcarraway
This is the most disgusting thing I've read in a long time.

By far.
18 posted on 10/02/2003 9:28:04 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (Have YOU had your Logan Fix today? Hehe)
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To: nickcarraway
Murder case might spur debate on abortion here and here and here

By John Patterson Daily Herald State Government Editor
Posted September 17, 2003

SPRINGFIELD -- If Elizabeth Ehlert's murder conviction is wiped out, Illinois' courts will have provided homicidal mothers a how-to guide for getting away with killing their babies, prosecutors told the Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Attorneys for Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine are asking the state's high court to reinstate a first-degree murder conviction against Ehlert for the 1990 death of her daughter shortly after the baby was delivered at her Palatine home. Prosecutors allege she put the live infant in a garbage bag and tossed it in a creek behind her home. The baby was found dead two days later in one of the lakes at Twin Lakes Golf Course.

But an appeals court overturned her conviction late last year on the rationale it was never proved the baby was fully delivered and separated from Ehlert. The appeals court said under Illinois law there cannot be a murder victim until there is an individual life. Ehlert's attorneys asked the Illinois Supreme Court to uphold this ruling. Ehlert's defense maintains the baby died during complications. She could walk free if the Supreme Court agrees her conviction was a mistake.

The court's ruling has the potential to launch a full-blown debate on Illinois' abortion laws. The law determining when a baby is an independent life dates back to 1820 and says the baby must be completely separated from the mother. So far the General Assembly has not addressed the issue, leaving the court to decide if and how it should be modified.

Prosecutors said given current forensic and medical technology, the 183-year-old law no longer makes sense and should be overturned.

"What you have here is the horrific scenario in which a mother who doesn't want her baby delivers the baby, the baby is out and still connected by the cord, and under the complete separation doctrine ... she can kill that baby," said Peter D. Fischer, an assistant Cook County state's attorney. "She can stab it, she can strangle it, do anything and it's not murder. It's not intentional homicide of an unborn child because a mother can't be prosecuted for that. It's nothing."

"This killing of a full-term, 6-pound, 19-inch long baby is nothing and we believe that rule cannot stand in the modern age," he said.

Ehlert's attorneys, however, contend even if the court overturns the law, the justices cannot change how it applies to Ehlert's case. Doing so would violate constitutional rights, they said.

Allan R. Sincox, her state-appointed attorney, said the court faces two risks in deciding this case. If the justices leave the law the way it is, a woman could theoretically kill her child during the birth and escape prosecution. But if the law is changed, Sincox claims, a woman who has a stillbirth could be convicted of murder and sent to prison simply because someone claims the child was alive.

Sincox maintains Ehlert was never proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the Supreme Court should uphold the appellate court's ruling. "This evidence is just simply too weak," he said.

Ehlert, who is now 44, was first convicted in 1993 by a jury and sentenced to prison for 58 years. But that conviction was overturned in 1995 on the grounds the prosecution presented prejudicial evidence that Ehlert had two abortions. She was tried again and convicted in a bench trial in 1998. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Karen Thompson Tobin sentenced her to a 30-year prison term. That conviction was overturned late last year leading to the current Supreme Court case.

Chief Justice Mary Ann McMorrow noted Ehlert has twice been convicted and openly questioned the appeals court's decision.

"Didn't the appellate court simply substitute its judgment for that of the trier of fact (judge)?" McMorrow asked during Tuesday's hearings.

Although the court heard arguments Tuesday, an opinion on the case may not come for several months.

Ehlert has been in custody at downstate Lincoln Correctional Center since 1993 and is eligible for parole in July 2005.

Baby: Mother up for parole in '05
19 posted on 10/02/2003 9:35:11 PM PDT by Coleus (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: Coleus
From your posted article:

By John Patterson

Daily Herald State Government Editor

Posted September 17, 2003

Ehlert, who is now 44, was first convicted in 1993 by a jury and sentenced to prison for 58 years. But that conviction was overturned in 1995 on the grounds the prosecution presented prejudicial evidence that Ehlert had two abortions. She was tried again and convicted in a bench trial in 1998. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Karen Thompson Tobin sentenced her to a 30-year prison term. That conviction was overturned late last year leading to the current Supreme Court case.

From the origanl posted article ("Illinois Leader", by Jill Stanek):

Is a crying baby alive? No, not necessarily, decided Cook County Circuit Court Judge Karen Thompson last November when she acquitted a mother previously convicted twice of murdering her newborn daughter...Nevertheless Ehlert was convicted again by bench trial, the conviction Thompson Tobin overturned last November.

Just a question...these two stories seem at odds, with the (apparent) same judge both "sentencing", and then "overturning" her own ruling...is there some way this makes some sense?! Is it the judge who's in question here, or some kind of horrendous "legal precedent" voted on ("referendum"-style) or gained as a ruling by "defense lawyers"?

Or is one of the reports not factually true? No one could possibly condone "aborting" a child whose only remaining "in utero" connection to his/her mother is an attached umbilical cord.

20 posted on 10/02/2003 10:12:16 PM PDT by 88keys
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