Rosa Jimenez had a 1-year-old baby girl and was seven months pregnant with her son when she was arrested for murdering a child in her care in 2005. Jimenez had been babysitting the 21-month-old when he accidentally choked on a wad of paper towels. She tried to remove the paper towels herself and immediately called for help when she couldn’t. With help, the child was resuscitated, but later died of complications and Jimenez was convicted.
But four Texas Judges have since concluded that Jimenez is likely innocent and that she did not cause the child’s death. Experts from the nation’s leading children’s hospital have said that the death of the child was consistent with “accidental choking,” not abuse as prosecutors argued at Jimenez’s trial.
In fact, last October, a U.S. district judge overturned Jimenez’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial, saying that Jimenez had been denied her constitutional right to a fair trial in 2005 because she was not able to present qualified medical experts at the trial. The decision is grounded on the earlier recommendation of a U.S. magistrate judge, issued in September 2018, and gave the prosecution until February 25, 2020, to retry or release Jimenez.
Yet the state is appealing this decision, which could delay action for years. And Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore intends to retry Jimenez, ignoring the new scientific evidence in the case and judicial determinations. Jimenez, who is now 37-years-old, and suffering from Stage 4 kidney disease, deserves freedom and access to immediate medical attention.
Here’s how you can help.