Saturday, May 31, 2008

Conviction in stillbirth supposedly related to cocaine reversed

With all the mostly grim political news it's hard to remember there's an occasional bit of good news. Here's something I should have passed along some time ago. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that one Regina McKnight didn't get a fair trial in 1961 when she was convicted of homicide by child abuse when she suffered an unintentional stillbirth. The conviction was based on the jury accepting a scientifically unsupported claim that the stillbirth was caused by her cocaine use.

I remember, geeze, it must have been in the '80s, when the warriors convinced most of the mainstream media that cocaine use was causing an epidemic of stillbirths. Trouble is the evidence just wasn't there. But the urban myth persisted, and some states started charging women who had stillbirths with homicide if there was eidence they had used cocaine.

It illustrates that the drug warriors often use outright lies to sell their war on users of (certain) drugs.

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