To: The Louisiana State House, The Louisiana State Senate, and Governor John Bel Edwards

Wake Up Louisiana

The State of Louisiana ranks in the top 5 states in the nation relative to the number of women killed by men, at least one-third of those murders are domestic violence related.

Despite the 1000's of women who will be physically or sexually abused by their spouse or dating partner, and the hundreds killed, there are those women who survived to tell their stories. Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel, Louisiana is home to 130 of these women, many of them mothers and grandmothers, who are serving life sentences without parole for acting on instinct and defending themselves against a violent partner. They lost their families, children and freedom. The State of Louisiana has the opportunity to make things right.

Small town politics, corruption, a lack of adequate legal counsel and often a crowded court docket played a role in many of these women's lives. The tax payers of our State are now responsible for their care, which costs on average of over $40,000 per year per healthy inmate. These women are capable of working and making a contribution to our communities, and providing for their children and grandchildren. Southern women are strong, independent and tenacious; they survived a living nightmare and continue to live under conditions that sometimes threaten their safety, forced to reside alongside women who are rightfully incarcerated for ongoing criminal behavior.

The Governor of our state depends on the Board of Pardons to present candidates for clemency; however, the Board of Pardons is obligated to allow those engaged in the original trials, which often consisted of corruption and wrongdoing, to be present to play a role in determining eligibility for an inmate's possible parole. In those instances, the inmate STILL DOES NOT RECEIVE A FAIR AND UNBIASED OPPORTUNITY FOR JUSTICE.

Accordingly, the People of Louisiana must come forward and demand that our Legislature act now and correct the injustice served on our state's women. By signing this Petition, you are the voice for those women locked away for life for acting on instinct in defending themselves against a violent partner. Set our women free and let them go home to their families, children and grandchildren.

Why is this important?

We have locked away our southern women for life, unjustly. They acted on basic instinct and defended themselves against an abusive partner and lost their families, children and freedom. We must make things right, we are their voices.