LIFE in Prison for Defending Your Life?

Reasons for signing

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Mark Setterberg
May 26, 2020
It's the right thing to do.

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Mary Ann Andruscavage
May 26, 2020
Self-defense.

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Ashley Plunkett
May 26, 2020
Imprisoned in marriage as well as once freed... The people higher up on the chain need to fix this. You failed her once, don't do it again.

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Patti Lindsey
May 22, 2020
These women should not be incarcerated for defending themselves against horrible bullying men who abuse their partners!

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Simone McInnes
May 9, 2020
I have only seen snippets of the case presented against Nancy Seaman through an episode of 'Snapped', released in January of 2010. I watched it for the first time an hour ago and saw vast inconsistencies between the case presented by the prosecution, the testimony of the Chief Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic M.D., and the facts I could put together from brief displays on the screen of the autopsy report, and other pieces of evidence such as analysis of Nancy's behaviour being consistent with those of a domestic violence victim, Bob's behaviour such as denying Nancy access to a vehicle being typical of a DV perp, and the highly unusual confession and explanation by Nancy as soon as she was arrested being consistent over 16 years, and being extremely uncharacteristic of someone who has just committed premeditated homicide.

The Chief Medical Examiner testified in court for the prosecution that "Everything that has been done [to Bob] has been done from behind" which supports the prosecution's trial theory, yet the autopsy diagram and report show the exact opposite. The autopsy diagram shows “3 1/4” CHOP deep” to face on left cheek under orbital socket, a superficial chop above left eye, a large wound to the left front of the neck which is not labeled, “STAB” wound to front of neck, a 1/2” stab to left shoulder and a 1” cut to the right shoulder. All of these wounds are consistent with the defendant's statements and testimonies which have not altered over the course of 16 years. It shows indiscriminate and rapid flailing by a right handed person shorter than the victim being confronted front on by someone much larger and taller who would have overpowered her and possibly killed her if the opportunity to do so had that opportunity not been taken from him by force.

The prosecution state the victim had been working on his car when he was subject to a surprise attack from behind. That is completely inconsistent with the autopsy report and diagram of injuries. The autopsy report states there was very little bleeding from the wounds to the victim's back. This is consistent with stabbing someone who is either dead, or whose blood pressure and heart are so week that he will soon be so. The stab wounds to the back are shallow, and concentrated in an area that can be reached by a right handed person who is trapped underneath the victim's body. This is consistent with Nancy's testimony that she was trapped underneath her assailant's body after delivering the blows with the hatchet.

The prosecution case claims that youngest son was not present in the home for the last 3-4 years because he had been at Purdue University. Really? Purdue is a 5 hour drive from where they lived. To dismiss the compelling testimony of the younger son that his father was physically and emotionally abusive because he currently studied at a university less than five hours drive away sounds like a lawyer who needs to twist logic to make the facts fit their story. I have no doubt Greg stayed in their home on the occasional weekend when he could, as well as summer and semester breaks.

The prosecution accepted Jeff's testimony that Nancy and Bob argued in the driveway on Mother's Day after he and his wife dropped her off because Bob was refusing to 'allow' her to take his car to go to Purdue to see her son. The program states Bob and Nancy have 'his and hers' Ford Explorers. Why would she need Bob's permission to use his car? That makes absolutely no sense. When you look at crime scene photographs of the driveway of their house you can see Bob's vehicle is parked across the driveway parallel to the garage wall. That seemed unusual to me. Usually cars on a driveway leading to a double garage are parked perpendicular to the garage doors so the driver can drive the car into the garage, not across it so that they can't. When you cross reference that with the photographs taken inside the garage Bob's Explorer is parked across the path Nancy's vehicle would need to take to exit the garage if it were parked inside the garage before Bob got home from visiting his brother. The other side of the double garage is occupied by the vintage car Bob was working on. Was the reason Jeff said that Nancy wanted to take Bob's Explorer that day because hers was blocked in by his? Was Bob trying to stop Nancy from using her own vehicle? Denying a spouse access to transport is an extremely common tactic of coercively controlling domestic violence perpetrators.

Interrupting and ruining special occasions that are particularly important to the DV victim, and disrupting relationships between the dv victim and any potential supporters by causing delays, confrontations and pushing emotional buttons is also typical of a perpetrator's coercively controlling behaviour. The fact that a confrontation occurred on Mother's Day and that it kept Nancy from seeing her son at Purdue is not a surprise to me, and probably not at all surprising to anyone who has studied research on coercive control in relationships, domestic violence and perpetrator tactics.

I liken living in a coercively controlling domestic violence relationship over the course of years to the parable of the frog immersed in tepid water and the temperature is turned up in tiny increments. According to the myth the frog is slowly desensitised to the threat of harm and does not leave the water. Actually a frog will jump out of hot water before it is boiled alive, but the parable still serves as a useful analogy for the purposes of education about domestic violence and programming a domestic violence victim to accept their victimisation and normalise it. Eventually those tiny increments of increased seriousness of abuse do desensitise dv victims to feeling the full range of normal feelings in response to abuse and injustice. They may even blame themselves for their own abuse.

Domestic Violence Victims are living in a home battle zone, always being on full alert, trying to predict the enemy's next move and mitigate the harm before it happens. Over the course of many years their pre-emptive fears and strategies may seem like they are suffering from a paranoid mental disorder to an uneducated unaware outsider. Dissonance between their denial of the seriousness of the situation and mostly buried instinct to flee danger, added to the ever-present knowledge that they need to be hypervigilant and pre-eptively counteract potential harmful actions to survive will eventually lead to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a psychiatric injury, as distinct from a mental disorder or personality disorder, although it may often be comorbid with depression.

If a victim becomes empowered economically and has given themselves a route to escape they instinctively know this is the most dangerous time for them. The time immediately preceding and immediately after escape from a coercively controlling domestic violence relationship correlates with a risk of death for the victim by the hand of their abuser that is 500 times greater than at any other time.

The facts show Nancy was preparing to leave Bob. She had bought a condo. She had confided in her youngest son (and others) that the condo was to be her own residence, and she had sworn him to secrecy, and she had not told Bob she was planning to leave him. The day of his death Bob had told Nancy that he knew the condo was for her, that he knew she was planning to leave him, and that she would "never live to see it". He had threatened her by dragging a knife across her hand, which is consistent with a post arrest photograph of Nancy, however that particular injury is on the periphery of the photograph and is not clarified or emphasised.

The fact that Nancy knew the risk to her life would increase dramatically if Bob knew of her plans, that her hypervigillance and reflex to pre-emptively strike to prevent her own death had kicked in due to Complex-PTSD are supported by a large body of peer reviewed research and expert opinion. The events as Nancy described them are supported by a large body of physical evidence.

The laws preventing a plea of self-defence on the basis of absolute knowledge of a need to defend herself as a result of 'Battered Women's Syndrome', which is really domestic violence induced Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder compounded by situational factors is unjust. It ignores the conclusions of the latest and most pertinent peer reviewed research on the subjects of the effects sustained long term exposure coercively controlling domestic violence.

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Monica Balicki
1 year ago
Monica Balicki

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Montenegro ANTONIO
1 year ago
only women in her favor
Is there evidence against her husband?
no
so they will complain to #me too
The Defending Organization of "Holy" Women

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Montenegro ANTONIO
1 year ago
only women in her favor
Is there evidence against her husband?
not
so they will complain to #me too
The Defending Organization of "Holy" Women

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Darcie Pickren
1 year ago
Please stop incarcerating people in these types of situations!

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Susan Rothfuss
1 year ago
Justice is an important lynchpin in our democracy. I remember when Nancy Seaman was convicted and sentenced. I wondered then how anyone living with an abusing husband could receive a life sentence without any chance for parole, when her life had been destroyed by the man she killed. I’m glad to see someone is trying to right this wrong. I hope you will sign this petition to offer Nancy a chance for true justice.