Sunday, September 4, 2011

Demand Freedom Now!

The Michigan Women's Justice & Clemency Project Website

This is an amazing project is directed by one of my former professors at the University of Michigan, and a current source of inspiration for me, Carol Jacobsen. I have had the privilege to work with her on a couple of public art projects. Her passion for righting social injustices is contagious and I want to thank her for rubbing off on me!
This project's intent is to seek out justice for the many women in Michigan's prisons that have been sentenced to long term/ life in prison due to defending themselves against their physical/sexual abusers. These women took a life as an act of self-defence and did not receive due process or a fair trial. They also strive to educate and advocate for human rights and humane alternatives to incarceration.
It is fair to say her class has changed my life and the way I look at the the world. I would not be where I am  or who I am without the experience of her class.

Please visit the website and see the faces of the women and their cases. Each case is individually legally reviewed. There is SO much information on the website it is hard for me not to copy and paste the whole thing!

Just a few of the startling facts from the website:

"In the U.S., one-third of female murder victims are murdered by male partners, and women survive an estimated 4.8 million rapes and physical assaults each year at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends."

"Less than 4% of male murder victims are killed by female partners, and most of those are women acting to defend themselves from men who have repeatedly beaten them. "

"In Michigan, one woman is murdered by a husband or boyfriend every five days."

"Currently, there are approximately 370 women serving time in Michigan prisons for Murder I, II or felony murder. We estimate at least one-third are women who acted in self-defense against an abusive partner but did not receive due process or fair trials based on the facts of their cases; and many have 
served 20 or more years."

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