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Conviction of pregnant driver overturned in N.Y.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The state’s highest court on Thursday rejected the manslaughter conviction of a pregnant woman who crashed her car, forcing the emergency delivery of her baby, who died days later.

Prosecutors argued that Jennifer Jorgensen was speeding, intoxicated, and unbelted when she crossed into traffic in 2008 and hit another vehicle head-on, killing Mary and Robert Kelly. Jorgensen, of Long Island, was eight months’ pregnant at the time.

She was acquitted of manslaughter in the deaths of the Kellys but convicted of recklessly causing her daughter’s death.

But the Court of Appeals, in a 5-1 ruling, said the state Legislature didn’t intend to hold a pregnant woman responsible for such harmful conduct to herself or her fetus unless it’s intentional.

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Jorgensen had been sentenced to three to nine years in prison.