In a case that has shocked Australia and drawn international attention, a man accused of murdering a pregnant woman and her unborn baby has been sentenced to death in the United States.
Karen Fisher was born with severe mental retardation, was severely disabled and suffered from severe emotional distress, according to the US Supreme Court, and her husband, John Fisher, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison in January, just days after his death sentence was confirmed.
“It was completely unacceptable for a father to murder his pregnant wife, particularly for a woman who was helpless,” Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Denton told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“She was helpless and had no power over her own body and no control over her unborn child.”
Ms Fisher had given birth to their daughter, Cayla, in December 2013 and was unable to control her movements.
She was admitted to a mental health facility, where she suffered from depression and suicidal ideation.
John Fisher was found not guilty of first-degree murder and manslaughter.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release.
John had a previous conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child, according, to the Australian Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In February, Ms Fisher’s lawyer told the court that her husband was unable “to provide a rational explanation” for why he killed his wife and the unborn baby.
“It’s an extremely difficult decision for any family,” John Fisher’s mother, Lisa Fisher, told reporters at the time.
“I think it’s a really difficult decision to make, but it’s the right one to make for Karen.
The court heard that Karen was a single mother and had not had a significant relationship with her husband.””
He was a person of strong character, and he was trying to support her.
It was just completely unacceptable.”
The Supreme Court will decide on Monday whether to hear arguments in the case, which will be heard in the US state of New York.
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,death,death-row,united-statesFirst posted October 26, 2019 09:50:33More stories from Australia