US: Pregnant woman whose sentenced was doubled ‘to protect unborn child’ wins appeal

The HIV-positive pregnant woman from Cameroon whose sentence was doubled to ‘protect her unborn child’ and which caused a furore in May, was yesterday resentenced to 114 days, or time served, for having a fake Social Security card and work permit.

The woman was freed on bail in June and won her expedited appeal in July.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the 28 year-old

wept Tuesday as U.S. District Judge John Woodcock imposed the sentence her defense attorney and a federal prosecutor had recommended jointly on May 14 at her original sentencing in federal court in Bangor. “I just want to say that a lot of people who have gone through a lot for me are here today,” she told the judge Tuesday. “I am grateful for their time and support. I want to say, God bless America.” […] Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in New York City, attended the resentencing in Portland. She criticized Woodcock’s original sentence outside the courthouse. “It was inappropriate for our client to have received a long sentence solely because she was HIV-positive and pregnant,” said Kolbi-Molinas, a staff attorney with the ACLUF’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “So we’re very pleased with the result. “The widespread support in favor of a reversal of the sentence shows that we are no longer a society which incarcerates the sick and the poor because they are sick and poor,” she said.

The woman is due to give birth later this month.