Published March 08, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – Prosecutors want an Indiana judge to bar courtroom spectators from wearing buttons expressing their opinions about a woman who gained international attention when she was charged with the murder of her premature baby after she ate rat poison while she was pregnant.
But a legal expert says that and some other ground rules requested by prosecutors who charged Bei Bei Shuai with murder don't pass legal tests.
Indiana University law professor Shawn Boyne says the Constitution and legal precedent protect spectators' free speech rights as long as they aren't disruptive.
Marion County prosecutors say the requests are routine in such cases.
Shuai's supporters in the U.S. and overseas say a conviction could allow pregnant women to be prosecuted for doing anything authorities deem dangerous to their child.