Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fetal Felons: Crime epidemic beginning in utero

There was a time when criminals were unshaven scowling men, or rumpled world-weary women, with eyes staring out of mug shots that told silent stories of the three "D"s of crime: desperation, deprivation and desolation. The new face of crime, however, is decidedly younger, as evidenced in a Scott.net story Boy aged 3 is UK's youngest crime suspect.

Disturbing though it may be that criminality is afflicting ever younger segments of the population, there is a new crime-wave that's gone virtually unreported -- that being perpetrated by fetal felons.

Like gangsters within their own protected personnel carriers, criminal fetuses have the best cover in the world, that of a harmless, life-bringing pregnant woman. But within the family-friendly exterior lies a second, steely heart that is only out for profit and gain, anarchy and mayhem.

Twenty-six year old "Regina" -- who declined to use her real name -- was ecstatic when she learned she was pregnant, but by the end of her first trimester, she began to wonder if something was wrong. "I kept hearing this voice in my head saying 'Get me that iced-out cross rang you seen in the mall, bitch!' I had no idea where it was coming from. I thought I was going crazy. But then I started having pain with the baby."

The pain was no random discomfort emanating from a normal pregnancy -- it came from Rufus, the self-named fetus living within "Regina". Although Rufus was only a fetus of 14 weeks, he had crafted a makeshift shiv and was using it to etch in the wall of the womb, causing "Regina" great pain and distress. Soon, with the aid of an ultrasound, "Regina" understood what was happening to her, but had no recourse. The hands of the police were tied because the fetus was as yet unborn.

"So, I went to buy the ring," "Regina" says, "but Rufus insisted that I steal it. I didn't see what the difference was, but when he dug that shiv into me, I didn't care."

"Regina" stole the ring, but was immediately apprehended by mall security. "Oh, the language Rufus used when I was arrested," "Regina" cries. "He said such hurtful, horrible things. I can't repeat them!"

Then the situation went from bad to worse when Rufus took his mother-to-be hostage.

Communicating with authorities through a police department doctor's stethoscope, hostage negotiator's worked with him to resolve the stand-off. Without Rufus' knowledge, his father-to-be reimbursed the mall jeweler and all charges were dropped against "Regina." Charges, however, against Rufus were still being considered as an emergency in utero crime bill was rammed through during an all-night legislative session.

That's small comfort to Rufus' father-to-be. "Now we're terrified to see what's going to come out of 'Regina'," her husband says. "If we're having behavioral problems at this point, how are we going to cope when Rufus is ten or fifteen years old?"

There are no easy answers, but the proliferation of fetal felons demands that some action be taken.

In order for Rufus to start life with no police record, a judge has sentenced him to house arrest for the duration of "Regina"'s pregnancy. That solves the immediate problem of Rufus' police record, but what about after he's born?

Social worker Meredith Swanheart says, "The best we can hope is that in utero rehabilitation techniques will become more widely accepted and used. Otherwise, daycare centers in a few years are going to resemble armed camps."

Conservative legislators, though, see potential light at the end of this tunnel. Conservative politician, Lila Nojoy, believes there may be a solution to this problem. "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to continue for generations, thank goodness. If we can get the international ban on child soldiers lifted, and rebrand these crib-crawling psychos as brave, pre-toddler patriots, we'll have the little sociopaths playing in the sand far, far away from here."

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