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Alabama prosecutor: Have a crack baby, go to jail

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posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 03:25 PM
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Alabama prosecutor: Have a crack baby, go to jail


rawstory.com

Covington County, Alabama prosecuting attorney Gregory L. Gambril interprets a 2006 child "chemical endangerment" law to include the unborn, prompting concern over patient privacy and judicial precedent.

Section 26-15-3.2 (Act 2006-204, §2) of the Code of Alabama makes it a felony to expose a child to a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia. The punishment becomes more severe if the child suffers injury or death as a result.

"The unborn children are not making the choice," explained Gambril to The Birmingham News in February. "It's the mothers who are making the choice to do it to them."

One such mother, Shekelia Ward, was jailed under $250,000 bond after she and her newborn baby, born on January 8 of this year, both tested positive for coc aine.

Daniel Bryan, Ward's public defender, calls the statute "badly flawed," albeit with good intent, and vague enough to be overused in the courts. Bryan also takes issue with the cases' assertion of a fetus' status as a person, contrary to federal precedent.

Given that the act was passed as an answer to parents manufacturing methamphetamines in their homes, Mr. Gambril admitted an obvious "close call under the law," hoping for clarification by statute. Mothers avoid jail time by agreeing to go into treatment, Gambril added, insisting that the intent was not to put mothers behind bars
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 03:25 PM
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I don't know about this law seems it would turn into another debate such as that on abortion. Im sure people would say there all for it then others would be against it saying she can't help her addiction.

rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 03:36 PM
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Wasn't the whole "crack baby" scare basically debunked a long time ago?

IIRC most of it turned out to be Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

But cracking down on drunk moms isn't nearly as politically popular an idea as cracking down on crackheads (who are disproportionately black).

An article on the "crack baby" phenomenon.

[edit on 3/15/08 by xmotex]



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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If the mother is addicted to crack or any other drug or alcohol the objective is to get her into treatment before she can jeopardize her future child's health. If she's afraid of being prosecuted then she will likely stay away from any kind of rehab which might help prevent that from happening.

But then, I don't think punishment prevents addiction.



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by JBA2848
 

Sounds like a dumb idea. This would probably promote them abandoning their babies. If they are pregnant when they are busted, they should probably be held (somewhere) at least until the baby is born and other arrangements made for it's care. Drug addictions are more like a mental illness. Somehow this threat doesn't sound like a cure for crack addiction and their babies. I really hated it when CNN recently showed some nanny shaking a crying baby. Much too graphic and traumatizing to watch.




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