On Friday Scott Peterson was found guilty of murder – first-degree murder of his wife Laci Peterson and second-degree murder of their unborn son.
Let me emphasize right now that Peterson will be either spending the remainder of his natural life in prison or will be executed for the murder of an unborn child. Well, now we have a problem, don't we?
Our society, at least the abortion rights portion of it, has, up to this point, deemed unborn children as not human, or as mere clusters of cells. Well, the jury in this trail apparently saw it differently.
In a country of common law, where former court decisions set the precedent for those in the future, the abortion rights advocates were just thrown a huge curveball. Where now is the line drawn between abortion and murder? What differentiates what Peterson is going to prison, perhaps even his death for, and what many thousands of doctors make a career out of doing?
Personally, I don't know what the hell is going on in this country when this apparent double standard is deemed acceptable. Thousands of unborn babies meet the same fate as the Peterson child on a daily basis. They are written off as "unwanted fetuses," and by that reasoning Scott Peterson could have gotten off scot-free by using the "my wife and child were unwanted" defense, right?
WRONG! Scott Peterson killed two people, and a jury of his unbiased peers found him guilty of it. This is exactly how the judicial system in the United States is supposed to work. This verdict is a step in the right direction, but it is not nearly a solution. If our society expects to ever live in a hypocrisy-free state, where murder equals murder all of the time and where every single life has value whether or not some say it is "unwanted," then this can only be the beginning.
This must be the first step in a long series that will lead to a more wholesome and virtuous civilization. The solution to this problem will come, but only by making hard decisions, such as the one the jury in this trial made. If this country ever expects to provide human rights to every citizen, then we must begin to recognize the rights of those who cannot yet speak up in self-defense.
I commend those jurors and their ability to not see this issue as just black and white. They have finally gotten us on the path toward a less hypocritical America.
Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing student. His columns runs regularly on Thursdays in the Collegian.