Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has proposed a National Commission to study the American Criminal Justice System and correct its flaws. As originally proposed the Commission membership did not include prisoner advocates, former prisoners, the wrongfully convicted, or prison rights organizations. I have decided to try for an appointment to the Commission as it is critical that our voices be heard. Please support me by signing this petition. Thank you.
Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, which has turned America into #1 Jailer in the world and threatened our own people within -- no longer "the land of the free" as 1 in 31 Adults are in Corrections, probation or parole. This does not count many other groups. Write your Congressmen/women. Write Sen. Jim Webb and participate on his Criminal Justice Commission -- citizens are needed, and those exonerated who have spent decades as innocent people trapped in America's jails and prisons - Hell-holes that rival Abu Ghraib in it's treatment of human beings.
We are nominating Gloria Killian, wrongfully convicted, wrongfully imprisoned for 17 1/2 years for a crime she did NOT commit, and exonerated for Sen. Jim Webb's Criminal Justice Reform Commission to overhaul a broken criminal justice and prison system. Only she has more real life experience as a result of the failed policies that no one on the commission has or anyone else nominates. The alarming rate of growth of women and girls being incarcerated is an issue since the history of prisons is they were built for men, not women who have special gender specific needs and issues. It's time to recognize this. The future of this nation depends on honestly facing this crisis.
Gloria Killian: Biography
Gloria Killian was released from prison on 8/8/02 after serving more than 16 years on a sentence of 32 years to life for a crime that she did not commit. Throughout her trial and incarceration she always maintained her innocence. In March 2002 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that her conviction was based solely on perjured testimony and overturned her conviction. In 2008, Christopher Cleland, the District Attorney who prosecuted her, was tried by the State Bar of California and found guilty of unethical conduct in her case.
As a former law student, Ms. Killian was assigned to the prison law library where she worked for 14 years, providing legal assistance to other inmates. She worked extensively with battered women, as well as others, and developed specialized legal services for many different areas of the prison. She was instrumental in the founding of the USC Law Project at the California Institution for Women.
During her time in prison, Ms. Killian published several articles including two that were featured in the USC Law Review, entitled Equal Justice for Some, and Justice: One Woman's Perspective. The second article was co-authored with Brenda Aris, the first battered woman to be granted clemency in the State of California. Ms. Killian also drafted the media and outreach campaign that led to the release of Ms. Aris.
Since her release, Ms. Killian has been tirelessly advocating for the humane treatment and release of the women that she left behind. She works as a consultant to agencies in the criminal justice and public policy fields, and has been the keynote speaker at several symposiums. She has testified for Select Committees of the California Legislature, and spoken extensively about the issues and concerns of incarcerated women. She has lectured at USC Law School, Loyola Law School, Southwestern Law School, Vanguard University, and Arizona State University, among many others.
MS Killian is now the Executive Director of her own non-profit organization, the Action Committee for Women in Prison (ACWIP). Along with public education and advocacy work, ACWIP provides Christmas gifts for the inmates at the California Institution for Women and in the Fire Camps, in conjunction with All Saints Episcopal Church. ACWIP also provides toys for the children of women in prison, when they come to visit their mothers. She is a member of the Girls Collaborative, which works with at risk teen-agers, AKA Angels and ALL of Us or None. She serves on the California Nursing Association, Correctional Medicine Taskforce, the National Commission on Crime and Delinquency Taskforce on Incarcerated Women, the Advisory Panel for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the steering committee of Free Battered Women and the Women in Criminal Justice Network. Ms Killian is the co-director of the Prison Ministry at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Ms. Killian's experiences with the criminal justice system and the advocacy work that she is doing were featured on 48 Hours which aired in September, 2003 on CBS. She is also profiled in a new book, Paths to Freedom by Alexis Powers, and she was featured on the Montel Williams Show twice. She has appeared on numerous radio shows and commentaries A movie is currently being developed about Ms. Killian's life and she is writing a book about her journey to justice.
Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has created the National Criminal Justice Commission to review the criminal justice system in the U.S. and recommend much needed changes. As proposed, the Commission does not include women, the formerly incarcerated, or the wrongfully convicted. Gloria Killian survived 17 1/2 years in the California Penal System and brings a real life perspective to the problems and failings of the US criminal justice system.
I urge you to appoint her to this committee.