Copyright (c) 2001 Clinical Law Review, Inc.
Clinical Law Review
ARTICLE: PUTTING THEORY INTO PRACTICE: A BATTERED WOMEN'S CLEMENCY CLINIC*
* The authors would like to thank the following individuals who read earlier drafts of this work: Linda Ammons, Mary Beck, J. Robert Brown, Christine Cimini, Anna Farber, Julie Kunce Field, Beth Gammie, Wadine Gehrke, Juliet Gilbert, Richard Neumann, Elizabeth Schneider, and Margaret Walker. We are also grateful for research assistance provided by: Diane Burkhardt, Stacy Buxton, Elizabeth Getches, Melissa Haapala, Michelle Kestler, Kasey MacIntyre, and James Orcutt, and for clerical/administrative assistance from Camilla Adams, Reanel Makelky, and Kim Wyatt.
8 Clinical L. Rev. 171
Jacqueline St. Joan** and Nancy Ehrenreich***
On January 11, 1999, his last day in office, Governor Roy Romer of Colorado granted clemency to four people who were serving prison sentences for homicides in the deaths of abusive husbands and a father. The governor also denied four other petitions for clemency filed on behalf of four battered women. These eight clemency petitions had been brought by students and pro bono attorneys associated with the Battered Women's Clemency Reform Project, a clinical course and pro bono community project at the University of Denver College of Law. 1
In one of his last acts as governor, Romer commuted Sandra Trujillo's 2 sentence to time served and commuted Carlos Trujillo's sentence to parole with conditions. Each had served two years of six-year prison terms for the 1996 killing of Pablo Trujillo, Sandra's husband and Carlos' father. Both had endured extreme physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Pablo Trujillo for over 20 years. The governor believed that they were "deserving of mercy because they saw no other escape from the inhumane abuse they continued to endure and because other actions by the police, the courts, and social services were unsuccessful in dealing with the abuse of [Trujillo] and her [six] <elip> children." 3
Romer also affirmed a sentence reduction in Faith Lawrence's case, thus quashing a pending prosecution appeal from a trial court decision reducing her sentence from 15 to 10 years. From her teens, Faith Lawrence had been in a severely abusive relationship with ...
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