From our private database of 34,000+ case briefs...
Keeler v. Superior Court
Supreme Court of California
2 Cal.3d 619, 87 Cal.Rptr. 481, 470 P.2d 617 (1970)
Robert Keeler (defendant) and his wife Teresa Keeler divorced on September 27, 1968. At the time, Mrs. Keeler was pregnant with another man’s child. On February 23, 1969, Mrs. Keeler was driving on a narrow road when another car forced her to pull over. Mr. Keeler came out of the other car and confronted her about her pregnancy. Upon seeing her stomach, Mr. Keeler became angry and struck her in the stomach with his knee, intending to hit the fetus out of her. After he left, Mrs. Keeler called for assistance and underwent a Caesarian section. The fetus was stillborn, with a skull fracture cited as the cause of death. An investigation showed that the skull fracture could have been due to Mr. Keeler’s attack to Mrs. Keeler’s stomach. Evidence at the time showed the fetus was viable on the day of attack. Mrs. Keeler and her doctor had previously detected fetal movement, and at the time the fetus was stillborn, it weighed five pounds and was 18 inches long. An expert estimated that had the fetus been born prematurely on the date of its death, it would have had a 75 percent to 96 percent chance of surviving. Mr. Keeler was charged with the murder of the fetus. In California, Penal Code § 187 criminalizes the murder of a “human being.” Mr. Keeler moved to set aside the information. The lower court denied his motion, and he petitioned for a writ of prohibition from the Supreme Court of California.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)
Dissent (Burke, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 608,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 608,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 34,000 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.