• Petitioned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

This petition was delivered to:

California
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ask Gov. Schwarzenegger to Release Human Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan with Time Served

    1. Amanda Kloer
    2. Petition by

      Amanda Kloer

      Washington, DC

  1.  
  2.   
January 2011

Victory

Sara Kruzan is a child sex trafficking survivor, sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole because at just 16, after years in sexual slavery, she snapped and shot her trafficker. On January 2, 2011, and after a long advocacy campaign involving tens of thousands of Change.org members, Gov. Schwarzenegger commuted Sara's sentence to 25 years to life.

According to Sara's legal team, the Change.org campaign and the support of the over 60,000 members who signed Change.org petitions supporting her had a material impact on this victory. Additionally, Change.org promoted other grasroots efforts from activists to support Sara, inlcuding a social media blitz and holiday cards.

While it wasn't the release many advocates were hoping for, Gov. Schwarzenegger's decision to grant clemency means Sara now has a hope of being released from prison, and for the first time since she was a child, of being free.

Update: On January 2, 2011, Gov. Schwarzenegger commuted Sara's sentence to 25 years to life. While it wasn't the release many advocates were hoping for, his decision to grant clemency means Sara now has a hope of being released from prison. Thank you to everyone who supported her and participated in this campaign.

Sixteen-year-old human trafficking victim Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison without parole when, in a desperate act to escape captivity, 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 32, 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.

Sara's clemency plea has been submitted to Gov. Schwarzenegger, and the decision of whether or not to release her with time served rests solely with him. Sara Kruzan deserves hope.  She deserves hope that she didn't survive being raped and sold for three years for nothing.  She deserves hope that the darkest chapter of her life has passed, and a horizon lies ahead.  She deserves hope that she can change, grow, and flourish as a woman. But in life without parole, there is no hope.

Tell Gov. Schwarzenegger that human trafficking victims deserve support and care, not prison. Ask him to release Sara with time served.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Sex Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan Wins Commuted Sentence

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      At 16, Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for killing the man who enslaved and sold her for rape as a child. This extreme sentence attracted the attention of women's rights and anti-trafficking advocates,...

    2. Help Free Human Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan

      Charles Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Sara Kruzan has spent more than half her life behind bars for killing the man who raped her, got her addicted to drugs and pimped her out on the street -- all before she turned 17. Today activists are working the phones and all the social networks...

    3. National Free Sara Kruzan Day of Action Today

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Today is the national day of action to free imprisoned child trafficking victim Sara Kruzan. Across the U.S., advocates are tweeting, Facebooking, calling, emailing and, yes, even faxing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking him to grant Sara...

    4. Holiday Cards Demand Pardon for Sex Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      It won't be a happy New Year's for sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan, who has been imprisoned for 16 years for killing the criminal who enslaved her at 13 and sold her for men to rape, unless California Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger extends her a...

    5. Activists Organize Social Media Blitz at Schwarzenegger to Free Sara Kruzan

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Nikki Junker and Barbie Magoffin were regular Change.org members when they came across Sara Kruzan's tragic story on the site. They were shocked to learn she had been imprisoned most of her life -- three years by a sex trafficker and sixteen years by...

    6. Send Arnold Schwarzenegger a Holiday Card to Free Sara Kruzan

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Looking for a holiday craft project that also fights for justice for human trafficking victims? One NGO suggests getting together with friends, family or co-workers and sending Arnold Schwarzenegger a holiday card. But these cards aren't just warm...

    7. 8 Ways To Fight Slavery This Hanukkah

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Hanukkah is a celebration of light and hope. Yet around the world, millions of people still live in the darkness and despair of human trafficking. This Hanukkah, you can shed light on the issue of human trafficking and bring hope to those who...

    8. Human Trafficking Survivor Now a Victim of the Criminal Justice System

      Charles Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Her own parents addicted to drugs and barely ever around, Sara Kruzan looked up to G.G. as a role model. He would “take me or my little friends to roller skating and to the mall and stuff, everything,” she recounts. “He was like a father...

    9. Join the Campaign to Free Child Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Sara Kruzan is a victim of human trafficking, who, because of a crime she committed as a traumatized and enslaved child, has now spent over half her life in prison. But across America and around the world, hundreds of thousands of voices are now...

    10. What Will the Election Mean for Imprisoned Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan?

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      The 2010 California governor's race — while adversarial, expensive, and uncertain — has one predictable outcome: Arnold Schwarzenegger will no longer be the head honcho of the Golden State. And while the Governator has repeatedly shown he's a...

    11. Victory! Schwarzenegger Signs Bill to End Supply Chain Slavery

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      After lobbying from anti-trafficking and corporate social responsibility groups and letters from almost 2,000 Change.org readers, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed the California Supply Chain Transparency Act. The new law marks a huge leap forward...

    12. Help Free Human Trafficking Victim Sara Kruzan From Life Without Parole

      Amanda Kloer
      Campaign Director

      Sixteen-year-old human trafficking victim Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life in prison without parole when, in a desperate act to escape captivity, she shot her pimp. Now 32, Sara has spent half her life in prison as a model prisoner and has finally...

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