Jaywalking Mom Decides on New Trial

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The Georgia mom who was convicted of jaywalking at the same time her 4-year-old son A.J. was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver was given a choice by her judge last week: take six months probation or opt for a new trial. Raquel Nelson has opted for a new trial.

The judge’s offering came after Nelson was sentenced to a year of probation and 40 hours of community service. The driver, who was intoxicated at the time of the accident, had two other hit-and-run convictions under his belt. He was sentenced to six months in jail.

Nelson told the Today show that a new trial is a “risk I’m willing to take.”

The Cobb County mother had gotten off a bus with her three children, at a bus stop that was a third of a mile from the road crossing. The young boy was hit when he ran to join his older sister, who had already crossed the street. Nelson and a second daughter were also hit by the driver’s van.

Nelson’s attorney, Steve Sadow, has reported that he took the case pro bono “because her prosecution is morally wrong and unjustfied.”

“[She is] not criminally responsible,” says Sadow.

The prosecutors said they did not seek jail time, but supervised release.

Nelson said she opted for a new trial because it’s hard enough to have to live without her son, and that “having the conviction hanging there also will be a little bit more emotional in the long run.”

What do you think of this case? Do you think Nelson should have even been charged in the first place?

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