NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A former Tennessee nurse whose medication error killed a patient was sentenced to three years of probation Friday as hundreds of health care workers rallied outside the courthouse, warning that criminalizing such mistakes will lead to more deaths in hospitals.
A state judge imposed the sentence on RaDonda Vaught after she apologized to relatives of the victim, Charlene Murphey, and said she'll be forever haunted by her mistake. Vaught was found guilty in March of criminally negligent homicide and gross neglect of an impaired adult after she accidentally administered the wrong medication.
The fact that Vaught, 38, faced any criminal penalties at all has become a rallying point for many nurses who were already fed up with poor working conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. The crowd outside listened to the hearing through loudspeakers and cheered when some of the victim's relatives said they wouldn't want jail time for Vaught.
Texas court rules on transgender cases
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday allowed the state to investigate parents of transgender youth for child abuse while also ruling in favor of one family that was among the first contacted by child welfare officials following an order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
The court did not rule on the merits of the investigations – which were the first of their kind in the U.S. – only that lower courts in Texas overstepped by trying to block all cases from going forward.
The mixed ruling by Texas' highest civil court, which is made up of nine elected Republican justices, comes at a moment when GOP lawmakers across the U.S. are accelerating efforts to impose restrictions on transgender rights. Both parties in the lawsuit called the decision a victory.
Pregnant woman slain; baby critical
A pregnant woman and a man were fatally shot Thursday night in a car in East Baltimore and her baby was delivered before she died. That baby is now in critical condition due to the emergency delivery, police said.
Thursday night's shooting comes amid a particularly violent stretch in the city. There have been 13 homicides and 27 non-fatal shootings so far this month, according to police spokesperson Chakia Fennoy. As of Friday morning, police reported 125 homicides so far in 2022, compared with 114 at the same point last year.
Pence parts with Trump in Georgia race
Former Vice President Mike Pence will campaign with Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp the day before this month's GOP primary in his most significant political break with former President Donald Trump to date.
That puts Pence in direct conflict with Trump-endorsed candidate David Perdue, who has been trailing in the polls. Kemp is one of Trump's top targets this election cycle because of his refusal to cooperate with Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In an interview with radio host John Fredericks on the conservative Real America's Voice, Trump was asked about Pence's plans. “Well, Mike is trying to get involved and he's a very nice man,” he said. “But he really let us all down.”