Newborn Murder and its Legal Prevention

Jurgita Stasiūnienė, Viktoras Justickis, Algimantas Jasulaitis


A newborn’s murder committed by his/her mother always causes an exceptional emotional response in the society. The fact of neonaticide evokes emotions not only because a new life is the most vulnerable part of the society unable to defend itself, but also the mother’s aggression directed to her own “ flesh and blood” contradicts the laws of existence, denies the power of mother instincts, unconditional love for her children. The aim of the work is to study the legal regulation in Lithuania, prevalence, dynamics of this crime, its murder locations, social characteristics of offenders, possibilities of applying preventive, rehabilitative measures and the new prospects to enlarge the efficiency of the legal persecution of the neonaticide in Lithuania. The retrospective investigation was conducted in a period from 1990 to 2012 by examining depersonalised statistical cards provided by The Information Technology and Communications Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of neonaticide was carried out in terms of a holistic generalisation of the issue, i.e., the infanticide situation in Lithuania has been investigated in depth, practical recommendations have been provided to introduce new concepts to the scientific doctrine, to adjust the existing legal acts on neonaticide and to develop new legal acts, as well as introduce preventive and rehabilitative measures. Results have shown that women, who murdered their first-day newborn at the time of delivery or shortly thereafter, were relatively young, with low education, without any profession or occupation at the time of the crime. The most common crime location is village, inside the residential place of a woman. Lithuania has not yet adopted a legal neonaticide prevention system. In Lithuania, the legal provisions relating to the murder of newborn should be improved.


neonaticide; newborn murder; anonymous delivery; baby boxes; diminished capacity; infanticide; prevention

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