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Letter: No justice in case of unborn girl's death

To the editor,

The recent death of an unborn child resulting from an automobile accident where there was clearly negligence at play has this writer furious, as no real punishment was handed down to the negligent driver. What good is it to have laws when we do not consistently enforce them?

It should not be a case-by-case judgment call that decides the outcome of a crime. We have laws for a reason and I think we should follow those laws regardless of gender, age, or race.

North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 12.1-17.1, clearly states that a person is guilty of negligent homicide of an unborn child, a class C felony, if the person negligently causes the death of an unborn child.

Yet, 75-year-old Claudia Rae Grace from Florida gets to plead guilty to a lower charge of a Class A Misdemeanor for Aggravated Reckless Driving, and the judge saw fit to suspend the 360 days behind bars, which is the maximum punishment for the charge, as part of the plea agreement. Because of the plea agreement, the class C felony charge of negligent homicide was dismissed; this charge holds a punishment of imprisonment for up to five years. The only "punishment" Grace was given was one year of unsupervised probation and 61 days after that is finished, her record will be expunged, which mean the "incident" never happened. This is wrong. How can a life be lost and the person who caused the death get no more of a punishment than someone who simply breaks a traffic law?

Because of the unlawful actions of a driver and the lack of enforcement of our clearly written state laws, a child will never have the chance to open her eyes, and her parents and family will forever live with a hole in their hearts. I am completely angered by this case — a life is lost and the person responsible is not held accountable; there was no justice for that unborn little girl.

Jill Sanderson

Park River, N.D.

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