Scott Hardie | July 1, 2019
What do you think of the case of Marshae Jones, charged with the death of her unborn fetus after she started a fight that led to her own shooting?

Erik Bates | July 1, 2019
I'm pro-life, and even I see how absurd this is.

It's similar to the proposed legislation that could potentially result in a mother experiencing a miscarriage being charged with the death of the fetus.

I'm all for protecting the unborn, but seriously, there is such a thing as taking it too far.

Aaron Shurtleff | July 1, 2019
I don't think I have enough information to make an informed decision. For example, if she started the fight AND was the one to bring the gun into the altercation, I might feel the charge more justified. I believe the article said five months pregnant? That's not exactly "bunch of cells" fetus level. I think it's a difficult thing, and I am super glad it's not me who has to sit on a jury for this.

Does a pregnant woman have any culpability in a situation like this? Is the severity of the charge the issue, or are we saying that being charged at all is the problem here? Not the same situation, but I know in some states (not Florida!), you are considered to have a duty to remove yourself from a situation and can only use lethal force as a last resort. Is it a similar issue here?

Is someone going to haul out the old "Hasn't she been punished enough just losing her child?"

I am always hesitant to ask the racially charged question, but would it be different if the mother was not a person if color? The article seems to imply that it might, but I don't know.

Scott Hardie | July 3, 2019
Same! I don't feel like I have enough information either. But it certainly feels wrong on the face of it.

Here's what I don't understand. Person A picks a fight with person B. In the middle of the fight, person B shoots person C. How is person A criminally liable for that shooting? Even if the victim is a minor, even if person A brought them to the scene and didn't de-escalate the fight, isn't it still person B who pulled the trigger and bears responsibility for the death? George Zimmerman picked the fight that led him to shoot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, and he was acquitted; how is this different? (Perhaps that's a bad example, as Florida has some messed up laws, as Aaron mentioned.)

They say Marshae Jones didn't extricate herself from the fight when she had the chance, so that makes her liable for the baby's death. But by that reasoning, shouldn't she be charged with manslaughter against herself? She's also a shooting victim.

The quest to give fetuses personhood under the law seems to have gone much too far when (it seems to me) they have more rights than people do.

This certainly seems racially charged. I wasn't there and don't know what's going on in the attorneys' offices, but I find it hard to believe that a white woman would face the same harsh charges, especially if the shooter was black.

Scott Hardie | July 4, 2019
And so it ends, after a national outcry.

And there at the end of the article is the quote that Aaron anticipated.


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