Success! Grand Jury Drops Charges Against Woman Who Shot Abuser in Self-Defense

Jacqueline Dixon should never have been charged with murder in the first place. Her husband Carl Omar Dixon had been so abusive to her in the past that she was granted a protection from abuse order against him in 2016 and gained temporary custody of their two children.

On July 31, 2018, he assaulted her again; Dixon couldn’t take it anymore and shot him. 

Michael Jackson, District Attorney for Dallas County, Alabama, reported that the shooting took place in Selma, Alabama, after Carl Dixon claimed he had found proof of his estranged wife’s infidelity. He then assaulted her aggressively and Jacqueline Dixon shot him with a small-caliber handgun.

When the Care2 team heard that Dixon was facing murder charges for shooting in self defense, they sprang into action and created a petition demanding that the murder charges be dropped. 

In collaboration with Color of Change and Ultraviolet, the three groups garnered over 400,000 signatures in defense of Jacqueline Dixon. Color of Change took the lead in organizing this campaign, ensuring that Jacqueline Dixon’s story was heard around the country. 


On October 11, a grand jury in Dallas County, Alabama, listened to testimony from Dixon and ultimately declined to issue an indictment against the 38-year-old mother of two. Dixon will no longer have to stand trial for the killing.

Care2 is proud to have partnered with Color of Change and Ultraviolet, and we are thrilled that Dixon will no longer face unjust murder charges.

Congratulations and thank you to over 310,000 Care2 members who signed this petition in support of Jacqueline Dixon, and to all the activists who supported Color of Change and Ultraviolet. You helped ensure that Jacqueline Dixon will not be punished for defending herself against her attacker.

However, as the Care2 petition made clear:

This might seem shocking, but the truth is, this happens all the time. Women defend themselves against abusive partners and then are charged with murder, and this is especially true for women of color. In the moment, these women are faced with two choices: kill or be killed. They choose to defend their own life and then society punishes them for the rest of their life for it.

That’s precisely what happened to Pamela Smith, from Phelps, Kentucky. Smith shot and killed her estranged husband in 2016 after he entered her home, ignoring the protective order against him. Like Alabama, Kentucky has “stand your ground” laws in place, but Smith was charged with manslaughter, found guilty of reckless homicide and forced to spend two years in prison.

For Smith and countless others, we must keep fighting.

Rebecca Gerber, Care2’s senior director of engagement, stated:

While this is a victorious moment for Jacqueline Dixon’s family, it’s ridiculous that she was ever charged in the first place. Alabama is a ‘stand your ground’ state, which legally establishes a right by which a person may defend one’s self or other against threats….Care2 and its members will continue to hold our criminal justice system accountable and fight back against discrimination and injustice.

Scott Roberts, senior criminal justice campaign Director for Color of Change, had this to say:

District Attorneys like Michael Jackson have the power and duty to protect rather than punish survivors, and Color of Change will continue calling on DA Michael Jackson to make a commitment to doing so.

This is an awesome victory for women, but we must continue to be vigilant. No woman should have to suffer punishment because she withstood the violent behavior of her husband or partner.

If you are concerned about an issue and want to make a difference, why not join your fellow Care2 users and create your own petition?


Photo Credit: Care2


lennon horton
lennon horton3 months ago

thanks for sharing

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you.

beba h
beba h4 months ago

Great news!

Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

self-defense should not be a crime !

Marianne C
Marianne C4 months ago

Women are charged all the time in clear cases of self-defense. There is still that sick twist of thought or belief in this patriarchal society that whispers insidiously to men that a woman has no right to defend herself against a husband or boyfriend, that she is somehow that man's property to do with as he chooses, and that her attempt to extricate herself from his abuse are suspect.

Even firing a warning shot into the ceiling has been enough to get a woman jailed, while the abuser went free.

Roslyn McBride
Roslyn M4 months ago

This seems to be a clear case of self-defense.

Lynne Buckley
Lynne Buckley4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Elaine W
Elaine W4 months ago

I signed and am glad it helped.

danii p
danii p4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.