Friday, October 5, 2007

Battered Women's Clemency Rally

We interrupt our usual lighthearted blog banter for a brief look at a serious subject I care deeply about. . .

Did you know that there are many women in Michigan serving life sentences for killing their abusive husband or boyfriend in self-defense?

Did you know that 9 out of 10 women who are murdered are killed by their spouse or boyfriend? And that often, those who try to fight back end up in prison for it?

Did you know that Michigan's women's prisons have been cited by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and sued by the US Dept of Justice for abuses of women prisoners?

I've met a number of these women, corresponded with others, and reviewed dozens of their medical files in order to write letters on their behalf. Their stories are heartbreaking. I attended a rally on their behalf today.

Anita Posey, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of her boyfriend. She shot him in self defense while he attacked her and her baby daughter, throwing the baby against a wall. She's one of the most pleasant, upbeat people I've ever met, despite what she's been through.

The grandson of a woman serving a life sentence for accidentally shooting her husband with the gun he was using to assault her. He read a very moving poem that he wrote for the occasion.
Sister of Luanne Szenay, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of her abusive husband. He was killed by one of their employees, who had witnessed her abuse. She was not involved in the crime, and maintains she knew nothing about it. She suffers numerous medical problems from her years of abuse and is being denied adequate medical care by the prison system.

For more information visit The Battered Women's Clemency Project and read their stories. Or watch below (Warning, contains some coarse language and disturbing images):

Psalm 102:19-20 The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.

1 comment:

Lacy H. said...

Wow...I am really moved. I didn't even realize this was going on in the world. I mean, I'm sure I did, but thank you for bringing it to the forefront of my mind.