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Monday, 16 July 2012

Sara Kruzan, Join Forces for her Freedom

About Sara Kruzan, a child Sex-Trafficking Victim turned Survivor serving 25 years-life with the possibility of parole in 2020. Biography Sara Kruzan grew up in Riverside, California. She was raised by her mother, who was addicted to drugs and abusive toward Sara. She has met her father only three times in her life because he has been in prison serving time for serious felony convictions. Since the age of 9, Sara has suffered from severe depression for which she has been hospitalized several times. She has attempted suicide on multiple occasions. Two months past her sixteenth birthday, human trafficking victim Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison without parole when, after years of sexual, physical and mental abuse, she shot her pimp. When Sara met G.G., the 31-year-old man who would become her pimp, she was only 11. G.G. groomed Sara two years before he raped her. By then, his control was complete and he forced her into prostitution. Sara and the other girls who G.G. exploited were out on the streets from 6pm to 6am, every night. Twelve hours a night, seven days a week, for three years, Sara was raped by strangers so G.G. could profit. After three years, she snapped, and she killed him. Now 34, Sara has spent half her life in prison as a model prisoner, and has asked Gov. Schwarzenegger for clemency. Sara was arrested and tried in 1994, before anyone was using the term "human trafficking" and when the country was still struggling to understand issues like domestic violence and pimp control that give one person coercive control over another. So there was no expert witness at Sara's trial to explain how her years of repeated rape, trauma, and abuse had affected her actions. There was no expert to tell the jury that with counseling, support, and care, Sara could heal from her traumatic past and grow to be a strong and moral woman. At the time of her sentencing, the California Youth Authority evaluated Sara and determined that she was “amenable to the training and treatment” the juvenile system offers. She had never been arrested before, and had been an honor student and student body president. Instead of being placed in the juvenile system, which would have resulted in her release at the age of 25, she was sentenced to serve the rest of her life in adult prison. Sara is now 34 and has spent over half her life in prison. On September 28, 2010, she petitioned California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for clemency, in which he granted clemency by commuting Sara's sentence to Life with parole. Although, reducing Sara's sentence provided her with hope that she would eventually be freed, it is not justice and does not go far enough. Many petitioners along with myself feel that Sara has served more than enough time and that Time Served should be granted. Sara's clemency petition was based on the absence of expert testimony at trial explaining how Sara's actions were affected by the years of abuse she endured, as well as on her youth at the time of the crime and her subsequent rehabilitation in prison. She writes, “The woman I am today is … capable of making healthy choices for myself. … Today I can and do lead a life of example for others.” Two nationally known experts who recently evaluated Sara have concluded that she was suffering from the effects of what is known as intimate partner battering and the trauma of significant childhood abuse when she committed the crime. The decision of whether or not to release Sara with time served rests solely with Gov. Jerry Brown. Sara Kruzan has spent the past 18 years in prison and deserves freedom. After surviving being raped and sold for three years as a child she deserves a chance to be a free woman, now. Human trafficking Is Modern Day Slavery. Victims deserve support and care, not prison. Join the movement, FREE SARA! Sara Kruzan #W59700 C510-30-2low PO BOX 1508 Chowchilla, California 93610-1508 Email kimdeanne@freesarakruzan.org
Website http://freesarakruzan.org/

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