RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s attorney general says that a state law prohibiting the concealment of dead bodies does not apply to stillborn fetuses.
Attorney General Mark Herring issued an official opinion Wednesday in the case of a Virginia woman who was convicted and sentenced to five months in jail for disposing of a fetus that had died in her womb and led to a miscarriage in 2016.
The Virginia Court of Appeals recently upheld the woman’s conviction.
The Washington Post reports that Herring acknowledged his office made a mistake by arguing in a brief that Katherine Dellis’ conviction should be upheld. Herring said he disagreed with the decision, but the case was never brought to his attention.
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In his opinion, Herring wrote that the state legislature never intended the statute to apply to the remains of stillborn babies.