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Court: 'Extreme bias' in sending pregnant woman to prison

DETROIT — A woman who was sentenced to prison because a judge believed she would use drugs while pregnant has been released after the Michigan appeals court accused him of “extreme bias.”

Samantha Hughes gave birth to a boy on July 2. The appeals court on Tuesday threw out her 13-month sentence for tampering with an electronic device and ordered her release from prison.

In a 2-1 opinion, the court says Judge Thomas Power discriminated against Hughes last December by sending her to prison because she was pregnant. Hughes had a history of drug use but insisted she hadn’t used drugs during previous pregnancies.

The Grand Traverse County judge has no regrets about his decision. Power tells The Associated Press that possible harm to the baby was “very real.”

Ed White, The Associated Press