Today, Legal Voice joined National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) and 98 other reproductive justice, drug policy reform, women’s rights, and civil liberties organizations in filing an amicus brief in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Lacy Weld.
Ms. Weld pled guilty to the crime of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, but was given an enhanced sentence of an additional six years in federal prison because she was pregnant at the time she committed the crime. We argued that subjecting women to harsher and unequal sentences because of pregnancy is profoundly discriminatory, violates multiple constitutional guarantees, and, if allowed to stand, would establish precedent that undermines maternal, fetal, and child health. The brief also challenges inaccurate medical claims regarding pregnant women and drug use.
Earlier this year, we also joined NAPW in sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Department of Justice to renounce these types of enhanced criminal penalties.