The disappearance and death of Laci Peterson has gone down as one of the most notorious murder cases in the 21st century. The mother-to-be, 27, and her unborn son — whom she and her husband Scott Peterson planned to name Conner — vanished on Christmas Eve in 2002 and were discovered in April of 2003 by a couple and their dog on the shore of the San Francisco Bay. The following year, President George W. Bush signed “Laci and Conner’s Law.”
The law was put into effect in April 2004 and states that it would be considered a separate crime to kill or harm an unborn child during an assault on the mother. At the time, President Bush said, “As of today, the law of our nation will acknowledge the plain fact that crimes of violence against a pregnant woman often have two victims,” he said before the signing. “The death of an innocent unborn child has too often been treated as a detail in one crime but not a crime in itself.”
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act was quite controversial and took five years to get through Congress. The measure gained new support following Laci’s murder. Currently, her husband, Scott, is sitting on death row and is slated to be executed by 2021.
“All who knew Laci Peterson have mourned two deaths and the law cannot look away and pretend there is just one,” Bush said. “They have laid to rest their daughter, Laci, a beautiful young woman who was joyfully awaiting the arrival of a new son … This little soul never saw light but he is loved and he is remembered and his name is forever enjoined with that of his mother.”