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Seeking Justice for the 14th Victim at Fort Hood

There are, of course, many unnamed victims of the attack at Fort Hood.  Spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends.  Each left to suffer and question why, on American soil, their loved one’s life was violently ended.

But there was another victim that has been frequently overlooked: the unborn child of soldier Francheska Velez.  When Hasan took Velez’s life, he took the life of her unborn baby as well.

As the country looks for justice to be served in this horrendous tragedy, we cannot forget that Hasan can and should be charged with the death of Baby Velez as well.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice was modified when President George W. Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UBVV) in 2004.  Also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law,” the federal UBVV law applies only to federal crimes and federal jurisdictions, such as military installations.  That is why AUL pushes so vehemently for states to enact their own versions of the federal UBVV law.

As AUL explained in Defending Life 2009:

“Thus, the biggest impact of Laci and Conner’s law may be in its revisions to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Military prosecutors can now pursue charges against military personnel stationed anywhere in the world if their actions cause the death of an unborn child; previously, they were limited to filing such charges only in those states with laws protecting unborn victims of violence.  A case such as that of Airman Gregory L. Roberts, who in 1996 savagely beat his pregnant wife, rupturing her uterus and killing their unborn daughter, resulted in manslaughter charges only because Ohio, where he was stationed, had a fetal homicide law on its books. Had Roberts been stationed in Colorado or North Carolina (states with a significant military presence, but no laws protecting an unborn child from violence), he could not have been charged with his daughter’s death and would have faced prosecution only for the assault on his wife.”

You can read the entire article here.

Because the UBVV law was signed in 2004 and is incorporated in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, justice can be sought for Baby Velez.