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    As the Granholm administration comes to a close, attention is directed to discreet Michigan laws that beg for some final consideration. The issue of judicial correction of battered women has heated up the public since the Brenda Andrew case made recent waves in national state government legislation developments. Brenda Andrew was convicted in 2001 of premeditated murder and was sentenced to death by lethal injection; her capital punishment, by numerous justice & clemency projects as cruel and unusual. Brenda Andrew was a battered wife.
    Just before leaving office in 2007, Gov. Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky, in regards to the Brenda Andrew case, granted clemencies and early paroles to 21 battered women, stating, "Our legal system is the best in the world, but it is not perfect." Many other governers nationwide have made the release of battered women prisoners a prominent final initiative before leaving office.
    . As the lame duck session of Granholm's administration trudges on, the Michigan public hopes for a similar initiative during Granholm's final stages. It is a major theory that Michigan law is outstandingly outdated and inadequate in addressing survivors of domestic violence who act in their own defense. Battery and domestic violence is a notable issue in the state of Michigan; One woman is murdered by a husband or boyfriend approximately every five days. Many women in just one of Michigan's female correctional facilities- Huron Valley Women's Prison- are survivors who would likely have been made victims had they not fought back against domestic abuse. Clemency, a general term for the power of an executive to intervene in the sentencing of a criminal defendant to prevent injustice from occurring, is the last hope for justice for women who defended themselves against abusers and are currently imprisoned. Under clemency, Granholm can grant these women amnesty, pardon, commutation, and reprieve. And, research shows that these women do not typically reoffend after clemency is granted; they are no longer a threat to society.

    The Michigan Women's Justice & Clemency Project, in the hopes of kick starting a wave of clemency initiatives, wrote Gov. Brad Henry on Aug. 6 to "urgently request" him to commute the sentence given "Brenda Andrews". Her case is co-mingled with a multitude of others making the consideration of legal clemencies at the turn of this year's gubernatorial term a central matter.

     

     

    SOURCES:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20101104/OPINION05/101103082/1336/opinion/Granholm-should-commute-prison-sentences-of-battered-women-

    http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law-enforcement-corrections/criminal-offenses-crimes/14956813-1.html

    http://www.umich.edu/~clemency/clemency_mnl/ch2.html

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    Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.