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Hughes v. State

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 278 U.S. 562,49 S. Ct. 36; 73 L. Ed. 507; 1928 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. Appellant was intoxicated and drove her car into another car and killed a baby that was almost to term. Appellant argued that the baby was not yet a human being because it had been born dead.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Whether or nor the fetus is born alive, an unborn fetus that is viable at the time of injury is a human being which may be the victim of a homicide.


Facts. Appellant was driving while intoxicated and crashed into another car. The victim was a nine month pregnant woman. The baby died from the impact and the mother survived. A jury convicted Appellant of first-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence. Appellant argued that her manslaughter conviction should be overturned on the basis of the common law ‘born alive’ rule because the baby was in effect dead prior to birth and thus cannot be the victim of a homicide.

Issue. Whether a baby that is born dead can be the victim of a homicide.

Content Type: Brief


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