Friday, April 29, 2011
From the Tennessean:
A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Nashville mother who triggered a national outcry after she was shackled during labor and after giving birth while in custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
U.S District Court Judge William Haynes Jr. will set a hearing for damages against Metro government and the sheriff’s office in the Juana Villegas case, which grew out of a July 3, 2008, traffic stop in Berry Hill.
Nine months pregnant, Villegas was arrested and charged with careless driving and driving without vehicle insurance. She didn’t have a driver’s license.
A check of Villegas’ immigration status found she had a previous deportation order to her native Mexico. Her water broke on July 5 and she delivered the baby at 1 a.m. on July 6.
In his decision Wednesday, Haynes wrote that Villegas was “neither a risk of flight nor a danger to anyone,” citing medical testimony. The judge concluded that shackling Villegas during the final stages of her labor and her post-partum recovery violated her civil rights. Read more....