Grant compassionate release for Katherine Telemachos
  • Petitioned Dear Honorable Members

This petition was delivered to:

Dear Honorable Members

Grant compassionate release for Katherine Telemachos

    1. Petition by


November 2011


Sentenced to life in prison, Katherine Telemachos was diagnosed with a terminal liver condition. All she wanted was to die in the company of her mother -- and to see the Atlantic ocean one last time. Prisoners' rights advocate Mary Ellen DiGiacomo started this petition to gather signatures to support a Conditional Medical Release for Katherine, and used the petition updates to rally support: "Please everyone don't stop. Keep spreading the word. We are trying to get Kathy home to die." Working with Mary Ellen, Katherine's lawyer submitted the signatures along with the appeal. Days later, Mary Ellen updated supporters, "She is en-route home with her mother. Thank you everyone! We could never have done this without you! You are awesome!!!!"


   I want to tell you about my friend, Katherine Telemachos.  She needs your help.  Katherine is currently serving a life sentence at Broward Correctional Institution, and is terminally ill. We are seeking a conditional medical release from the parole board and we are certain that once you read her story, you will want to help us in making this happen.

Katherine has had a very hard life.  Originally from South Florida, she was born with a terminal liver disease and in 1981 she became the youngest girl in the US to receive an experimental liver transplant at the age of 10 years old.

Katherine’s health remained stable for a few years. However, at 16, doctors discovered that the medication that kept her transplanted liver from rejecting was causing kidney failure.  Despite attempts to save Katherine’s kidneys, in 1989, just eight years after her liver transplant, she received a transplanted kidney from her mother. She was eighteen years old and her life was about to drastically change.

Katherine fought from an early age not just to survive her illnesses but was also the victim of an extremely abusive father.  Her father abused her sexually, physically, emotionally and psychologically.  She was raped, whipped, cut with knives, sodomized and threatened consistently even when she was ill. She also witnessed his abuse inflicted upon her mother.  Katherine had two motivators for keeping quiet; her father’s threat to kill her and her mother, and her deeply embedded shame. Statistics show that women who have suffered such horrific abuse over long period of time lose touch with reality. She once said that she is responsible for killing her father because she was too afraid to kill herself.

Hours after her father was  murdered by her then boyfriend, Katherine was arrested.  She was prosecuted and received a life sentence. Another man that was at the scene plead out to a lesser charge in turn for his testimony against Katherine.  She has been incarcerated since 1991 at the age of 19 and has been in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections for approximately 20 years.  She is now 40 years old.  Katherine remained silent about her childhood abuse until 2005.

In 2003, Katherine noticed a pea sized lump in her left breast.  Despite relentless attempts in seeking treatment, it was not until October 29, 2007 that she received a bilateral radical mastectomy.  Unfortunately, due to the delay in treatment, the cancer had metastasized to her lymph nodes, lung, bone and chest wall.  She is dying.

Due to Katherine’s transplant history, traditional cancer treatments  are not viable options for her.  Despite recommendations, the Florida Department of Corrections has continuously refused to send her to a transplant specialist where alternate treatments could be explored.

Just over a year ago, due to medication she was given for high blood pressure, Katherine’s transplanted kidney failed.  She is now a dialysis patient.  During a catheter removal and replacement operation, she was administered an antibiotic she was allergic to, causing her to develop a severe skin disease. Katherine is not receiving adequate medical care.  She does not receive proper nutrition, pain management, cancer treatment and daily medications are often unavailable.  

 In 2006 Katherine filed for clemency under the Battered Women’s Law.  This is when she first began to relate to others the details of her horrific abuse.  Her case was presented before Governor Jeb Bush and the Clemency Board and was denied due to the failure of the Florida Domestic Review Board to submit their report in a timely fashion.  I believe Gov. Bush would have granted her clemency at that time, and if so, she would be living a healthy productive life in our community today.  Instead she may die in prison.

Katherine is one of the most amazing women I have even known. She is kind and empathetic to others, highly educated, and always willing to help another. She is unassuming and gentle, quiet and thoughtful and highly dependable.  She is a devout Christian. Katherine has educated herself while in prison.  She graduated from business operations, earned a two year degree in accounting/bookkeeping, and an associates degree from Blackstone School of Law in paralegal studies. She has worked in the Law Library at several institutions assisting staff and other women with their legal needs. Moreover, she has dedicated herself to helping others overcome their shame of abuse.  She broke her silence and shares her pain, her journey of healing and how she became a survivor of abuse rather than a victim.

Katherine and her mother are very close. Katherine’s mom wants her daughter returned to her, and brought home before she dies. Katherine wants to die at home and hopes to have the chance to see the ocean before she passes. Since 2010, several doctors working for the Department of Corrections have diagnosed Katherine with a terminal illness.  Her time is running out.

Without intervention and the mercy of the Governor of Florida and the Florida Parole and Probation Commission, Katherine will die in prison where she has spent the majority of her life. Katherine is seeking a Conditional Medical Release from prison, the same supervised release granted to another terminally ill inmate at Broward CI in Jan. 2011.  It is time for Katherine to go home.  Please help her go home by signing this petition which will  be included in her application for Conditional Medical Release.   Please help Katherine see the ocean one more time.



Recent signatures


    1. Kathy is free!

      She is en-route home with her mother. Thank you everyone!!!!!!!!!!!! We could never have done this without you!!!! You are awesome!!!!

    2. WE WON!!!

      Kathy was granted conditional medical release! Thank you everyone!!!!

    3. We should hear something this week!

      Please everyone don't stop. Keep spreading the word. We are trying to get Kathy home to die.

    4. We are down to the final days.

      The attorney will be submitting the package for Kathy's Compassionate Medical Release this week. Please sign and share so we can get to 1000 signatures. Thank you! I don't want Kathy to die alone and chained to a prison hospital bed! PLEASE help! Thank you!

    5. Reached 500 signatures
    6. Let's go!

      Hey we are half way there! C'mon folks spread the word..Thank you so very much!!!!!

    7. C'mon peeps!

      We need to spread this far and wide! Kathy doesn't have much time! PLEASE SHARE!!!

    8. I got a letter of thanks from Kathy today!

      THANK YOU EVERYONE! Here are some of her words "This is my last opportunity to be released from incarceration. If I am not successful I shall die here. My only wish is for an opportunity to go home and spend my last days with my mom."

    9. C'mon peeps! Please spread far and wide!

      Kathy is running out of time. Please make this baby go viral!! Love peace and blessings to all!

    10. Reached 250 signatures
    11. Thanks to everyone for sharing! We are getting closer to our goal!

      With your help we are getting more signatures. Kathy is so grateful as are we for the help!!!

    12. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Carrie Macedo NAPERVILLE, IL
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because it is the right thing to do. She has more than paid for this crime. She too was a victim!

      • almost 3 years ago

      Besides Katherine's having been treated with utter disdain and torture, and the fact that she is the real victim, her terminal illness means she is effectively serving a death sentence rather than a life sentence. What about a little human compassion?

    • Fox Michael H. KAKOGAWA, JAPAN, JAPAN
      • almost 3 years ago

      Women doing time for men's crimes is a national phenomena. Please allow the release of this innocent woman.

      Michael H. Fox


      Women's Criminal Justice Network--

    • judy rice APOPKA, FL
      • almost 3 years ago

      To not do so is illogical... love & logic

    • Larry Curtis VISTA, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Terminally ill indicates life is over. Sentence is determined.


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