September 24, 2009
"Judge: Teen too pregnant for jail; She can give birth first, then go, judge says"The title of this post is the headline of this interesting local article from Michigan. Here are the details:
A 19-year-old Pontiac woman was to be sentenced to prison Wednesday for her role in a crash that killed her pregnant friend. Instead, she will get a nine-week reprieve because she is now pregnant and due to deliver in five weeks. The sentencing judge said he did not want the child born behind bars.
Alexis D. Wilson stood before Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick. Sosnick told her she would have to report for sentencing Nov. 25. Her baby is due Nov. 1.
Wilson, who is unemployed, faces 43 to 86 months in prison for the July 6, 2008, death of Tamia Williams, 17. Blood tests, taken at the scene but completed almost six months later, showed traces of marijuana in Wilson.
She pleaded no contest earlier this year to driving while intoxicated causing death, manslaughter with a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing a miscarriage.
Her attorney, Cyril Hall, said there was no evidence marijuana was a cause. "There is no evidence whatsoever that this accident was the result of intoxication," he said. "It's like drinking 30 days ago, then you get stopped today and arrested for drunk driving."
However, under Michigan law, drivers who have marijuana in their bloodstream at the time of an accident are guilty of a crime.
September 24, 2009 at 09:25 PM | Permalink
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Seems like a statement of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Posted by: mpb | Sep 25, 2009 5:47:53 PM
Smart judge. Avoid the medical costs, and the medical liability costs. The child is born defective from all that drug and alcohol use, the jail get scapegoated by a plaintiff lawyer.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 25, 2009 9:31:13 PM
How so? Michigan has simply chosen an extremely strict definition of DUI where marijuana is detected. Given that possession is a strict liability offense I believe that choice is within the universe of valid options the state has available. The attorney may well be right that the legal intoxication did not play a role in this crash, but that still doesn't do much to help the client.
Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Sep 26, 2009 1:43:47 AM
I practice in Michigan. For once, I agree with Supremacy Claus. I had a judge place a pregnant client on probation, order immediate jail time as a part of the probation, release the defendant from jail to go to the hospital to have the baby (not at the expense of the county), but under orders to return to the jail immediately after being released from the hospital. He then found her in violation of her probation when she delayed returning after being released from the hospital. It's all about the money.
Posted by: Greg Jones | Sep 28, 2009 10:24:01 AM
I practice in Michigan and chair the amicus committee of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the NACDL affiliate.
Michigan's definition of DUID has nothing to do with intoxication. It is illegal to drive with the presence of a byproduct of THC in one's body. The byproduct is not intoxicating and is not an indication of current intoxication. It only indicates that sometime in the relatively recent past, the person consumed THC. There is no rational connection between the prohibited conduct and the event.
The michigan supreme court decision which interpreted the statute in such a strained fashion is up for reconsideration in a case being argued there next week.
Posted by: John Minock | Sep 29, 2009 10:06:11 AM
When I was pregnant I has the same feelings about that, so be patient.
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