This Week In Women: Dropped Charges

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team prevails against England and is advancing to its third consecutive World Cup match (and a very happy birthday to team captain, Megan Rapinoe!). Halley Bailey of Chloe x Halle is named the new Little Mermaid. These are the kind of highlights we need while America burns out the rest of the sparklers and watches re-caps of tanks rolling through our nation’s capitol.

We are covering headlines and loopholes in the legal system, it’s time for This Week in Women.

Alabama Prosecutor Drops Charges in Controversial Case

Hot on the heels of Alabama’s recent press over abortion rights, a fight over ‘fetal personhood’ has put one woman on the frontlines. Last week, an Alabama grand jury indicted Marshae Jones on manslaughter charges after she was shot in the stomach last December. Jones was 5-months pregnant at the time of the shooting and the fetus subsequently died.

The jury’s indictment hinged on an argument that she provoked the incident and was therefore responsible for the violence committed against her (the person who shot her was also indicted but pleaded self-defense). This week Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington dismissed the case against Jones. 

“The District Attorney’s decision will help Marshae continue to heal from this tragic event and work to rebuild her life in a positive and productive way,” Jones’ attorneys said in a statement. “With the dismissal of charges, the community of support that surrounded Marshae can now channel its immense passion and energy toward ensuring that what happened to Marshae won’t ever happen again.” 

Domestic Violence Accuser Gets Misdemeanor

Courtney Taylor Irby decided to take matters into her own hands. According to a report filed with police, her estranged husband Joseph Irby rammed into the back of her car and she was in “fear for her life” following a divorce hearing on June 14th. This was not the first time that Taylor Irby sought protective orders against him.

Irby spent the night in jail and on a following court hearing the next day, the judge ruled that Irby would be released on pre-trial probation and was prohibited from having firearms. Taylor Irby went to Irby’s apartment, where she knew the location of two guns, an assault rifle, and handgun — she then took them from the residence and turned them into the Lakeland Police Department. She ended up spending the next five days in police custody for “armed burglary of a dwelling and grand theft of a firearm” because she admitted to taking them without permission.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, about 4.5 million American women alive today report having been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner and more than one in three callers to the National Domestic Violence Hotline report being threatened with a gun by their abuser, and more than three-fourths of those women report being stalked by their ex-partner. Federal law can only do so much to protect victims of domestic violence, because much is up to state enforcement. The charges against Taylor Irby were dismissed earlier this week by Brian Haas, the state attorney for the 10th Judicial Circuit in Florida, who has downgraded the charges to a misdemeanor for trespassing.

Featured image via WSFA.

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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