Marshae Jones case an example of mob rule and political cowardice
Any time a woman who just lost her baby is charged with a crime, it will elicit a negative reaction. No one wants to see anyone punished further after going through such an ordeal, but the Marshae Jones manslaughter case was one that probably warranted a jury of her peers taking a look at it.
Most know the story: Jones and another woman were fighting over a man in a Dollar General parking lot. It somehow escalated to a point where the other woman was cowering in a car with a handgun. Jones was hit in the stomach by a ricocheted warning shot and ultimately lost her baby.
A grand jury was presented the evidence and decided not only not to charge the shooter, but to take it a step further and charge the person who got shot.
This was not an overzealous politically-motivated prosecutor taking a case and trying it in the media. It wasn’t a misuse of power. This was a grand jury hearing all the evidence presented and deciding the woman who was shot and lost her baby was the aggressor and cause of that death.
Then politics, the Alabama political media and the national media got involved.
Stories about how Alabama was engaging in yet another “War on Women” were back in the news and, even though it was completely unrelated, Alabama’s recently passed abortion ban somehow became part of the story.
None of that is accurate. None of it is relevant. What happened next was pure politics and nothing more.
Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice O. Washington returned from a cruise to the Dominican Republican and buckled under the pressure. She returned home and decided they would be dropping the charges.
This is not conjecture. The pressure was real and effective — she said so while publicly deliberating on whether to continue with the case and declaring that she could “do what I please.”
AL.com reported the following statement about the press coverage and pressure:
“There was a barrage of insults–desecration of my integrity, my character, my name—all the while I was in the Dominican Republic,” she said. “All the while my name was being desecrated across this…this nation.”
She announced there would be no charges while flanked by “local church leaders.”
Imagine if she had decided to continue to prosecute and brought pro-life preachers to the press conference. I think that decision would be discussed in a very different way than how this one is being discussed.
This doesn’t seem like justice. It sounds more like the modern version a mob breaking into a jail and letting a prisoner go. But it is OK in this case because the mob is made up of members of the media.