Monday, August 01, 2011

Raquel Nelson: American Justice

I reported on this story previously, where I had this to say.

The Only Justice America Has Is That What's Coming To It

A conviction at any price, it doesn't matter matter who, why or what the circumstances are. Let's take this already distraught mother who has suffered probably the greatest loss a mother can, the loss of a child, and let's really fuck her life up.

To what avail?

What an uncaring, vindictive and shitty society. previous

Well it appears the unfortunate woman has been convicted of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, which you might find somewhat hard to believe when you read the details of the case.

I cannot but help ask the question though, would her sentence have been anywhere near as ''lenient'' had there not been the public outrage that there was surrounding this travesty?

“We prosecute people for very low level crimes when there is no actual reason to,” Chettiar said of Nelson’s case. “We put people in prison for public safety, or from a punitive perspective or in an attempt to rehabilitate but she’s already been punished—she lost her son.”

“Putting her in prison isn’t going to make us any safer.”

More Jail Time Than the Man Who Killed Her Son? The Criminalization of Black Mothers

Women of color are being aggressively prosecuted for supposed transgressions they'd committed while trying to raise their children.
July 31, 2011

Raquel Nelson, who was convicted of second-degree vehicular manslaughter after her four-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver, will not be going to jail after all. On Tuesday a judge sentenced Nelson to 12 months of probation and 40 hours of community service, and offered her a new trial, which she’s since decided to pursue. She faced three years in prison.

It was a stunning move in a dramatic case that’s captured national headlines and for criminal justice reform advocates, exemplified the racialized impacts of aggressive prosecutions.

On April 10, 2010 Nelson’s son A.J. Newman was killed by a drunk driver while the family attempted to jaywalk across a busy street. They’d just gotten out at a bus stop and were out later than Nelson would have liked after having missed their first bus. Their home was directly across a four-lane street and like many other passengers, they decided to cross directly to their home. The nearest crosswalk was more than three tenths of a mile away from the bus stop. While waiting at a divider, A.J. slipped out of his mom’s grasp and into the street. Nelson and her other daughter followed, and they were all hit by a drunk driver careening down the road. More, includes a link to 'new trial.'

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