Last month, Love146 joined GEMS, Change.org, Equality Now, Polaris Project, Shared Hope International, and dozens of other leaders in the anti-trafficking movement to ask Governor to grant Sara Kruzan clemency, commuting her sentence to time served.
On Sunday, the final day before leaving office, Governor Schwarzenegger commuted Sara’s sentence of life without parole to 25 years to life, with the possibility of parole. While he did not release her with time served, as many advocates had hoped, that he granted her clemency at all is extraordinary. That means for the first time in 16 years, Sara Kruzan has hope that, after being enslaved or imprisoned for most of her life, she will finally be free.
It is well known that Sara Kruzan first met her exploiter and trafficker “G.G.” at the vulnerable age of 11 years, and experienced years of abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking before Sara was coerced by another adult male to shoot G.G. one night. She went from one form of imprisonment, as a victim of sex trafficking under G.G.’s control, to another form of imprisonment, regarded as an irredeemable criminal under our justice system.
In any US court of law today, Sara would be considered a victim of sex trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000). As experts, we would recognize her youth, history of abuse and trauma, and experiences of sexual exploitation and trafficking as unquestionable factors for her care and treatment as a sex trafficking victim. While our laws and justice system have improved tremendously over the past decade in protecting and providing services for victims of sex trafficking, Sara received no such treatment in 1994, when at the age of 16, she was sentenced as an adult to life in prison without parole plus four years.
Read the original letter of support Love146 signed here