The United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, has granted a petition to release Jessica M. Fox from prison after pleading guilty to and being sentenced in Polk County Circuit Court in June 2015 for two counts of Introduction of Controlled Substance into the Body of Another Person. Her sentence was handed down by Judge Jerry Ryan who set each count to run concurrent, and totaled 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
However, since the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Melissa McCann-Arms’ conviction on the same charge, Fox’s case, along with Amy Robertson’s case, who was also convicted of the same charge, was brought back to the courts. In McCann-Arms’ Supreme Court case, the argument was made that a fetus doesn’t count as a person until born and even though their children were born with drugs in their systems, there was no proof the drugs entered the child post-birth.
Fox is set to be released from ADC as soon as possible. Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner, who prosecuted all three landmark cases, said, “I am still working with advocacy groups to try to come up with a Legislative fix to this issue. It is a tragedy that many children are affected by their mothers’ controlled substance ingestion, and it now appears that there is no legal remedy for prosecutors.”