Tell Governor Newsom to free Ameenah Rasul, an elderly woman with chronic health issues

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Tell Governor Newsom to free Ameenah Rasul, an elderly woman with chronic health issues

This petition made change with 4,125 supporters!
Grace Hong started this petition to Governor Gavin Newsom

SUMMARY

Ameenah Rasul, a 71 year-old woman, survivor of intimate partner violence, and devout Muslim, has been incarcerated for over 40 years. She has been parole-eligible since 1993. Her life is now at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She suffers from many serious health conditions that make her high risk, including vascular disease, diabetes, severe hypertension, coronary artery disease, hypothyroidism, and leg clots that allow her to only take a few steps at a time with the aid of a walker. Ameenah is incarcerated at the California Institution for Women (CIW) which is experiencing a major COVID-19 outbreak and where effective social distancing is impossible. We call on Governor Newsom to commute her sentence to time served.

BACKGROUND

Ameenah is a survivor of domestic violence and has also been the victim of an abusive criminal justice system. As a young woman, Ameenah was trapped in a violent relationship with a boyfriend who beat her, cheated on her, and forced her to give him money. This abusive relationship was the context for her conviction. She has been parole eligible since 1993 and has served more than 40 years of her life sentence.

Ameenah has spent over half her life in prison and has worked to use that time productively and in the service of others. She has turned her life around, gaining insight into her choices by participating in countless self-help and wellness groups about healthy relationships, restorative justice, and victim impact. She has also earned several AA degrees, and has developed skills as a musician and artist. She devoutly practices the Muslim faith instilled in her by her mother, and has served as an assistant to the Muslim community at CIW under the supervision of the chaplain. She has led the Jumu’ah prayer services, taught courses in African culture and beginning Arabic, and organized special events for the Muslim community.

Please join me in asking Governor Newsom to lead with mercy and release Ameenah Rasul to safety.

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This petition made change with 4,125 supporters!

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