December 6, 2023

California Governor Gavin Newsom has pardoned a woman convicted of killing a man who abused her and trafficked her for other men to be raped.

Sarah Cruzan was only 16 years old when she managed to get a handgun and shoot the man who was abusing her.

She was convicted at her trial in 1995 and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In 2010, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted her sentence to 25 years to life. Three years later, she was resentenced, changing her sentence to 13 years to life.

Cruzan spent 18 years in prison before being released.

Newsom granted pardon Friday along with 16 others, according to a press release from his office.

The governor’s pardon certificate stated: “She has provided evidence that she is living an upright life and has demonstrated her eligibility to restore civil rights and responsibilities.” “Miss. Cruzan committed a crime that claimed the victim’s life. Since then, Ms. Cruzan has changed her life and devoted herself to community service. This act of compassion for Ms. Cruzan does not diminish or forgive her behavior or the harm it caused. It acknowledges the work she has done since then to change itself”.

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