Sunday, November 7, 2010

California: Supporting Kruzan

The San Francisco Chronicle says the Governor should grant executive clemency to Sara Kruzan, who was sentenced to life without parole at the age of 16. At the same time, despite the "compelling" nature of the case, the Chronicle recognizes that her clemency application faces "long odds" with the Governor - who has only granted 7 pardons the entire time that he has been in office !

Kruzan is described as someone who was an "industriousness" youth, as well as an honor roll studnet and student body president. But she was physically abused by a mother who was addicted to drugs. The Chronicle reports Kruzan was also "molested and gang-raped by men from her neighborhood as a child." The man she shot and killed was a pimp who sexually assaulted her when she was 11 and put her to work on the streets when she was 13.

The Chronicle notes that the California Youth Authority evaluated Kruzan "and determined that she could be rehabilitated in the juvenile system ... But a judge decided that she should spend the rest of her life in prison, without the possibility of parole." Today, she is 32 year old, a model prisoner, soon to be a college graduate and recently named by correctional officers as Woman of the Year. She has also explicitly expressed remorse for her crime. See full editorial here.

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