California prosecutor who prosecuted women after stillbirths was ousted

Abortion rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Kentucky is one of at least four states with abortion-related ballot measures in 2022.AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File

  • Keith Fagundes, district attorney for Kings County in California, lost his June 9 primary election.

  • Fagundes accused Adora Perez and Chelsea Becker of murder, claiming they caused their stillbirths.

  • The Fagundes challenger campaigned against the charges, which were also criticized by the California GA.

Keith Fagundes, the California district attorney who has prosecuted murder charges against two women he says caused their stillbirths by using drugs during pregnancy, was ousted from his post in the United States primary election. Status June 9.

Fagundes lost her seat as Kings County DA to challenger Sarah Hacker by at least 15% of the vote, ABC30 reported.

The cases of Chelsea Becker and Adora Perez, who both suffered stillbirths after battling drug addiction during pregnancy, were at the heart of the election. Although California law specifically prohibits pregnant women from being charged with the murder of their own fetus, Fagundes claimed that the women’s drug use caused their stillbirths and charged them both.

Perez, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter to avoid a longer sentence, had his 11-year sentence overturned after serving four years in prison. Becker, who could not afford to post bail while awaiting trial, spent 16 months in jail before his charges were dismissed.

“Those two cases, they’re a symptom of the disease,” Hacker, the attorney for Hanford who defeated Fagundes in the primary, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And the disease that has infected our criminal justice system here in Kings County is preferential treatment.”

Hacker wasn’t the only legal mind to worry about Fagundes’ choice to charge the women. California Attorney General Rob Bonta released a statement in January clarifying state law and condemning the charges against them.

“The loss of a pregnancy at any stage is a physically and emotionally traumatic experience that should not be exacerbated by the threat of being charged with murder,” Bonta said in the statement. “The charges against Ms. Becker and Ms. Perez were not in accordance with the law, and this misuse of Section 187 should not be repeated. With reproductive rights under attack in this country, it is important that we say so clearly: here in California, we do not criminalize the loss of a pregnancy.”

Fagundes agreed to an interview with Insider ahead of the primary election. He stopped responding to requests for comment after the election results were released.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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