My friend Sara Kruzan was a victim of human trafficking when she was 13 years old, and was trapped for three years in a cycle of sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Night after night, Sara was sexually exploited for her abuser’s gain. Then, after years of torture and exploitation, she shot and killed her trafficker and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She was just sixteen years old.
Sara has been in prison for nearly two decades now. When I learned about her story and that she was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after living a life of horrific violence and abuse, I was devastated but inspired to fight for her. And now Sara is on the verge of being free.
On Jan 18, 2013 Sara’s sentence was reduced to second degree murder and since she had already served 18 years, Sara was fast-tracked to parole. Now, California Governor Jerry Brown has only a few weeks left to sign off on Sara's parole. I need your help to bring her home.
I started this petition for Sara because while I can't help all human trafficking victims, I can help one. I really believe that each survivor matters. Will you sign my petition and show Gov. Brown that there is public support for granting her parole?
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. 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.
In June, the California Parole Board reviewed her case and signed off on granting Sara’s parole. Her case currently is in the California Governor’s office waiting for Governor Jerry Brown’s final consideration. He can free Sara.
Now 35, Sara has spent her life in prison as a model prisoner. Governor Brown signed a bill this year that allows juveniles sentenced to live without parole to have their cases reviewed - so we know he understands cases like Sara's. With the parole board recommending that Sara be released, he now needs to hear from the public that he should approve Sara's parole. That's why your signature is so important to helping free my friend.