Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.Quelle horreur that a fifteen-year-old girl didn't have a baby. It appears from the MSSC docket that the district attorney was the perennially loathsome Forrest Allgood.
Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence. * * *
In Gibbs' case defence lawyers have argued before Mississippi's highest court that her prosecution makes no sense. Under Mississippi law it is a crime for any person except the mother to try to cause an abortion.
"If it's not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is," Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.
Her case was argued May 25 (on interlocutory appeal), so we're just waiting to see what the Court does. The C-L ran a short AP item at the time.
(And yeah, I totally stole that post title from the Guardian.)