After a week of national outrage surrounding the case of Marshae Jones, the Alabama woman who was charged with manslaughter after her unborn baby died in a shooting, the Alabama district attorney announced the 27-year-old will not be prosecuted, reported the New York Times.
On June 26, Jones was arrested for allegedly starting a physical altercation with another woman over a man. During the December fight, 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot Jones, who was five-months-pregnant, in the stomach, causing her to miscarry.
Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter; however, after a jury failed to indict Jemison, the same jury indicted Jones for “intentionally caused the death of her unborn baby by initiating a fight knowing she was five months pregnant,” according to AL.com.
“Let’s not lose sight that the unborn baby is the victim here,” Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid told reporters after the shooting. “She had no choice in being brought unnecessarily into a fight where she was relying on her mother for protection.”
After news of the indictment went viral, reproductive rights advocates, celebrities, and activists criticized Alabama for prosecuting the expectant mother. Many argued Jones’s case represents one of the many ways Black women are criminalized for not carrying a child to term.
Jones’ also happens to fall on the heels of the recently passed anti-abortion law in the state of Alabama.
Additionally, the office of Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington faced insurmountable pressure to drop the charges by Jones’s lawyers, who filed a motion to have the case dismissed.
During a press conference on July 3, Washington announced that the case is dismissed.
“After viewing 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 at a press conference.
“Therefore, I am dismissing this case and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter,” Washington said, adding that, ”There are no winners, only losers in this sad ordeal,”
In a statement released Wednesday, Jones’s lawyers said they were pleased that the district attorney “chose not to proceed with a case that was neither reasonable nor just.”
”With the dismissal of charges, the community of support that surrounded Marshae can now channel its immense passion and energy toward ensuring that what happened to Marshae won’t ever happen again,” they said in the statement.
On Twitter, activist groups such as the ACLU commended Washington for dropping the charges but also said Jones should never have faced charges in the first place.
(Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)