Miscarriage of Justice Part 2

Upon further investigation it seems Rennie Gibbs, the Mississippi girl who was charged with murdering her stillborn baby, is black. Given the reason and manner of her indictment, it would have been a surprise if that had not been the case.

Ms. Gibbs had just turned 16 and was 36 weeks pregnant when she had a miscarriage that prosecutors claim was caused by her cocaine use. The charges filed against her mark the first time in Mississippi of a woman being tried on murder charges for having a miscarriage purportedly induced by drug abuse. Fortunately, the case has drawn the attention of several notable national organizations. The National Association of Social Workers, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and the Mississippi Chapter of the ACLU have joined with other local and national organizations in filing an Amicus Brief with the Mississippi Supreme Court that argues:

“Ms. Gibbs’ prosecution cannot be reconciled with evidence- based, peer-re:viewed, medical and scientific research, or with the clear and explicit language of Mississippi law. Amici urge this court to grant Ms. Gibbs’ Petition for Interlocutory Review and resolve this issue expeditiously so that pregnant women in Mississippi can immedi’ately seek prenatal care and substance abuse treatment without fear of prosecution.

You can access and download a pdf of the entire brief by googling: “Gibbs v State of Mississippi.” The first item that appears on the results list should be titled “State of Mississippi.” The pdf is linked to it. In it you will find numerous citations for research articles that show that currently no scientific evidence exists to support the prosecutor’s contention of cocaine use being responsible for Gibbs’ miscarriage. Given these facts it seems clear the rush to prosecute this black teenager as an adult and send her to jail for the rest of her life is just another episode in the history and tradition of antiblack racism in the State of Mississippi.


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