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Give Mary Elizabeth Stroder a Chance at Freedom!

This petition had 6,829 supporters

Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Stroder’s life of abuse began at an early age at the hands of her parents and family friends. When she got older, she entered into a relationship in which she was subjected to continual physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. In 1993, Liz was present when her abusive boyfriend killed a young woman. Despite her limited culpability and clean record, Liz was sentenced to Life Without Parole (LWOP) in 1995. She has been in prison ever since.

Many experts, including former investigators in her own case, now recognize that Liz suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS), and believe that, had the jury been made aware of this, she would most likely have been convicted of a lesser crime. Evidence of Liz’s prolonged abuse—in her relationship with her boyfriend and during her childhood—was never mentioned during the guilt phase of Liz’s trial. Liz’s attorneys never connected her presence during the crime to her inability to leave her boyfriend due to Battered Woman’s Syndrome. Twenty-one years ago, Liz was denied her chance at a fair trial and a fully informed jury, and was given LWOP because of it. She deserves a chance at parole, to rejoin society and start a new life.

Please join us in asking Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Liz’s sentence of LWOP to “life” so she can be considered for release.

Liz takes full responsibility for her role in the murder - she was present and was unable to stop it. It is important to understand how the abusive relationships she endured for many years prevented her from making choices to protect their victim from her boyfriend's violence. For over two decades, Liz has worked towards rehabilitation and healing. She continues to make a positive impact on her community inside prison. She has worked as a Domestic Violence Peer Educator and Creative Conflict Resolution Facilitator, she founded an LWOP support group, and teaches exercise classes. She has been free of disciplinary infractions for 18 years, and was deemed “no risk” to public safety during a recent psychological report.

Please call on Governor Brown to commute Liz’s sentence to “Life,” so she can have a chance at life outside of prison.

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