ack in 1995, the Superior Court of California sentenced Sara Kruzan to life imprisonment. At the time, she was a mere 17 years old.
And what was her crime? She shot to death the sick, evil man that had trafficked her for sex since she was just 13 years of age, George Gilbert Howard. The New York Post, reporting on that, noted that:
Kruzan was tried as an adult after she shot and killed George Gilbert Howard in a Riverside motel room during a botched robbery.
After shooting Howard in the neck from close range, Kruzan took off with cash from his wallet and the keys to his Jaguar.
Well, though woke Gavin Newsom has done the wrong thing almost every time he’s presented with a decision to make, even a broken clock is right twice a day and Newsom finally made a good decision: he pardoned her.
Newsom did so on the first of July, announcing the “executive clemency” order and saying:
The California Constitution gives the Governor the authority to grant executive clemency in the form of a pardon, commutation, or reprieve. The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry, correct unjust results in the legal system, and address the health needs of incarcerated people with high medical risks.
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These clemency grants recognize the applicants’ subsequent efforts in self-development or the existence of a medical exigency. They do not forgive or minimize the harm caused.
A pardon may remove counterproductive barriers to employment and public service, restore civic rights and responsibilities, and prevent unjust collateral consequences of conviction, such as deportation and permanent family separation. A pardon does not expunge or erase a conviction.
A commutation modifies a sentence, making an incarcerated person eligible for an earlier release or allowing them to go before the Board of Parole Hearings for a hearing at which Parole Commissioners determine whether the individual is suitable for release.
So, while the pardon will not erase Kruzan’s conviction, it might help remove some of the barriers to employment and seeking public office that Kruzan might encounter due to her criminal record, though whether such stigmas still exist in woke California is doubtful.
Regardless of that, it means that the woman who was locked up for life after killing the man who had sex trafficked her since she was barely a teenager can finally get out of prison and live a normal life, free from the predations of Mr. Howard the scumbag or the prison in which she was locked up.
Her sentence had already been commuted by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2011, who pushed it down to 25 years to life with the possibility of parole. Jerry Brown then allowed her release in 2013.