By Dave Andrusko
There is a grim, brutal connection between two stories we are running today. Two men—Scott Peterson and Rae Carruth—were convicted in the unbelievably brutal murders of two pregnant women.
In 2004 Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife Laci and her nearly eight-month-old unborn son, Conner.
Laci and Conner’s murders were so horrific I will not recapitulate them except to say that the nation’s attention was riveted on the trial. The details about how Laci and Conner were executed were so ghastly that, although the case had nothing to do with federal law (Peterson was convicted under long-standing California state law that preceded Roe v. Wade), their deaths helped raised the nation’s consciousness about the whole issue of the murder of pregnant women, specifically that there IS a “second victim”—something NRLC had been pursuing at the federal level.
It is no coincidence that the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” (UVVA) is also known as “Laci and Conner’s law.” Their tragedy drew attention to the underlying issue and helped NRLC pass into law the UVVA , which established the “two-victim principle” for federal law purposes as well.
Tonight, as we approach the 15th anniversary of the night Laci and Conner were murdered, the Investigation Discovery network will air “Scott Peterson: An American Murder Mystery.” I’m not sure where I got the impression that the two-hour program was leaning toward whitewashing Peterson, but judging by the brief clip and pre-publicity the program will document just what an awful human being Scott actually was.
Peterson, who has maintained his innocence, was “convicted of first-degree murder in 2004, and sentenced to death by lethal injection,” according to the Investigation Discovery network. “He is currently on death row at the San Quentin State Prison. As the 15th anniversary of his conviction approaches, Scott Peterson is appealing his sentence.”
Kirk Walden wrote a fine piece (which we reposted) based on a long, heart-wrenching story written by Scott Fowler for the Charlotte Observer. Rae Carruth, at the time a famous professional football player, was convicted of masterminding the conspiracy to murder Cherica Adams, his pregnant girlfriend who refused to abort, in an attack that bore a startling resemblance to a gangland hit.
Like Peterson, Carruth plead innocent in the face of an avalanche of evidence to the contrary. However there are two differences.
First there is no reasonable chance that Peterson will ever leave jail and every reason to believe that Carruth will be released from prison on October 22, 2018.
Second, the remains of Conner’s badly decomposed body washed on a beach in San Francisco Bay in April 2013. By contrast Chancellor Lee Adams turned 18 this month.
“Chancellor Lee will reach this landmark as a gentle young man,” Fowler wrote.
He has lived his entire life in Charlotte protected and emboldened by a loving grandmother, Saundra Adams, who has raised him from birth.
The party she has planned for her grandson is not a traditional 18th birthday party, but Chancellor Lee Adams is not your typical 18-year-old.
He smiles more, for one thing. He also has cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage owing to the trauma of an emergency birth that deprived him of blood and oxygen.
Saundra Adams is one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever read about. I will not spoil the pleasure of reading about her and her grandson, even though it is wrapped in the larger story of Rae Carruth’s inhumanity.
Let me just echo what Kirk Walden wrote:
When someone talks to me about “choice,” I’ll remember Cherica Adams, Chancellor Lee Adams and his grandmother Saundra. Each made a choice about life, and each made the right decision.