Professor Lisa Smith spoke to the Christian Science Monitor about the upcoming trial of Ariel Castro, who was charged with the kidnapping and rape of three women he allegedly held in his house in Cleveland for a decade. With one victim stating she was beaten so severely she suffered at least five miscarriages, the Cuyahoga county prosecutor’s office has announced that it will likely press charges of aggravated murder as well.
Historically, capital punishment for killing an unborn child while the mother still lives is unprecedented. Professor Smith, an expert in domestic violence, noted that more physical evidence may be needed for the success of this charge. “This is different because the mother is alive and the fetus, or several fetuses, is dead,” she said. “The prosecution is more likely successful with the death of the mom along with the death of the unborn child.”
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