Friday, October 12, 2012

Clemency for Women in Louisiana

This is impressive.  A former student of mine was working on a class project (not for my class) that a number of students wanted to continue when the semester was over.  Their goal is to advocate for women who were victims of domestic abuse, killed their abuser, and then were incarcerated for their actions.  The name of the organization is called Clemency for Women in Louisiana.  They're writing petitions, taking part in demonstrations, and asking Louisiana residents to contact parole boards, representatives and Governor Jindal on the behalf of these women.  Check out their website and see how you can get involved.

Here's a sample letter they crafter that you can use if you're not sure what to say (below the page break).

Not sure what to say?
Use our sample letter to Email the Governor, Bobby Jindal, and inform him that battered women in Louisiana’s prisons deserve clemency now!
Dear Governor Jindal,
I am writing today to urge you to grant clemency to those women currently imprisoned in the state of Louisiana for killing their abusive partners.  These women are being incarcerated for a crime that simply does not fit the punishment.  After suffering years of physical and mental abuse, these women were forced to take action for fear of their lives and in many cases the lives of their children.
Women incarcerated for killing their batterers should be granted leniency since their actions were in self-defense.  These women did not receive the help they needed from the Louisiana justice system while they were facing domestic abuse from their partners, and now that same justice system has locked them up, in many cases without any hope of ever being released.
Our state not only has the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the world, but it also has the third highest incarceration rate for women of any state in the nation.  The overflowing prisons in Louisiana are currently costing the state over $700,000,000.
By granting clemency to the women in the state’s prison system who are victims of spousal abuse would not only help Louisiana shed the title of prison capitol, but it would be righting a severe injustice.  I hope that you will do what is right for the citizens of your state.
(Your name here)

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