An expectant Michigan mother who was convicted for displaying a handgun during a controversial altercation last summer will likely have her second child in prison, a situation that the Second Amendment Foundation considers “barbaric” just days before Mother’s Day.
“We’re looking into the case of Siwatu-Salama Ra,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “and quite honestly, it seems bizarre that the judge in this case could not at least stay her imprisonment long enough for her delivery, to say nothing of an appeal.
“To send a pregnant mother to prison for a mandatory sentence of two years for a conviction in a case with as many disputed questions as this one is barbaric,” he observed. “It’s also been reported that this is a high-risk pregnancy, which compounds the injustice.”
The details of Ra’s case have been widely reported. The 26-year-old environmental activist was at her mother’s home when a dispute erupted with the mother of another girl who was there to visit with Ra’s niece. That woman allegedly rammed Ra’s car, in which her 2-year-old daughter was playing. Also in the car was Ra’s legally-owned, unloaded pistol. She grabbed the gun and allegedly waved it or aimed it at the other woman’s car.
That woman contacted police, while Ra waited to call authorities. That’s where her problems began, according to various published reports. When Detroit police investigated, they automatically considered Ra the suspect and the other woman a victim because the other woman contacted them first. As a result, Michigan’s “Stand Your Ground” law was apparently not considered.
“What is happening to Siwatu-Salama Ra isn’t just questionable, it might even fall under cruel and unusual punishment,” Gottlieb suggested. “This case certainly calls into question the way Michigan’s mandatory sentencing requirement is being enforced.
“This appears to be a case where a law is being strictly enforced,” he said, “but it’s not so certain we’re seeing justice.”