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Because self-defense is not a crime, and survival should not be punished.

Letter to
Self-defense is not a crime.

Surviving is not a crime.

And yet, in the city of Minneapolis, a woman has been convicted of exactly that. CeCe McDonald, a young trans woman, was convicted of manslaughter. Manslaughter, in this case, meaning the act of defending herself from her attackers. Several men attacked her, with the obvious intent to kill, on the basis of her race and gender identity. In the act of protecting her own life, she killed one; and was charged with murder.

As if this was not enough, the judge in her case was quite obviously biased against her from the start. He selectively excluded evidence that could cast her attacker in a negative light, while permitting evidence that cast her in a negative light. As such, she accepted a plea bargain, down from forty years. And she was sentenced to over three years in a men's prison.

A woman was sentenced to a men's prison, for the crime of defending herself from someone who intended to kill her. In such a place, she will almost certainly face more of the same, and worse.

Please, reverse this decision. Pardon her. Let justice prevail.


James Yakura started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,632 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.