The Black woman indicted for manslaughter after her five-month fetus was shot and died during a fight will not see a day in jail.
According to AL.com, on Wednesday (July 3) Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington dropped charges against Marshae Jones, 27, who was indicted on manslaughter last month by a grand jury.
Authorities claim that on Dec. 4, Jones initiated a physical fight with 23-year-old Ebony Jemison over the father of Jones’ unborn baby. As a means of “self-defense,” Jemison shot the pregnant woman causing the death of the unborn fetus. But instead of charging Jemison, the grand jury blamed Jones.
At a news conference, DA Washington called the case “disturbing and heartbreaking” and told reporters prosecuting Jones was “not in the best interest of justice,” The Washington Post noted.
“An unborn child was tragically lost, and families on both sides of this matter have suffered,’’ Washington said, adding, “Nothing we do today or in the future will change that reality.”
“After reviewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law, I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury,’’ Washington said.
“Therefore, I am hereby dismissing this case, and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”
However, as AL.com noted, Washington was clear that her decision to drop the charges was not a judgment against the grand jury.
Perhaps Washington was persuaded by the loud and swift public pushback to Jones being charged in the first place, accusing the state’s strict anti-abortion laws of creating a culture of handing down severe punishments against expecting mothers who may miscarry.
American Civil Liberties Union Director Jeff Robinson agreed with Washington’s decision, writing that Jones should not have been charged to begin with.
“The DA’s decision represents precisely what we want to see in these critical moments: a prosecutor who is not afraid to use prosecutorial discretion and power to refuse to prosecute when the law and justice demands that charges should be dropped,” Robinson said in a statement.
Others have taken to social media to sound off on this issue as well:
Jones’ lawyers have yet to make a public statement about their client.