To: Governor Greg Abbott
Commute the Sentence of Delicia Carmichael
Call on Texas Governor Abbott to commute the sentence of Delicia Carmichael, a child survivor of sex trafficking. Delicia is serving a 20-year sentence for offenses committed when she was 15. Her adult trafficker and co-defendant received a lighter sentence for his own participation.
Why is this important?
This petition is designed to bring justice to Delicia Carmichael, a young woman who has survived extensive sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Delicia is serving an extreme 20-year sentence for offenses that were a direct result of her having been sex-trafficked, and in which no one was physically harmed. Last June, Texas Governor Abbot vetoed a bill that would have helped survivors like Delicia receive a commutation, or sentence reduction. Please sign this petition to tell Governor Abbot to immediately release Delicia to a halfway house where she can receive the treatment and care she needs, and where she can learn the skills to be an independent and valued member of society. Delicia deserves empathy, support, and a second chance - not further suffering and punishment.
Delicia's background is riddled with sexual abuse, trafficking, neglect, and abandonment, first by her family, and then by numerous State institutions. When Delicia was 5, the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) discovered her living out of a car in the custody of her grandfather, who was sexually abusing her. In and out of foster homes, she wound up on the street, where her mother, who had lost parental rights, introduced her to an adult male who began to traffic her and engage her in other criminal activities. Just after she turned 15, Delicia participated in the incident that resulted in her arrest and prosecution. Her trafficker received a lighter sentence for the same incident.
Delicia's history of trauma related to sexual abuse and sex trafficking was never investigated, discovered, or considered in her criminal case. Indeed, despite the fact that the State has long been responsible for her well-being, her exploitation was never fully discovered, and she has never received appropriate treatment. That failure is ongoing: Delicia is not receiving appropriate care for her past traumas in prison now, and if she serves her sentence in full, she will spend another 17 years in this arrested condition.
Texas must do better. Delicia is a strong and intelligent person who deserves a chance to experience independence, safety, and joy in free society. It may be too late for the State to protect Delicia from sexual exploitation, but it can finally recognize Delicia’s history, shield her from further harm, and enable her to heal and thrive in adulthood. Please sign this petition to tell Governor Abbot to commute Delicia's sentence and provide for her immediate release to an appropriate halfway house.
For more on Delicia's story, see this article from the Huffington Post:
For background on the bill vetoed by Governor Abbott last June, see this earlier article from the Huffington Post: