The following is a message from the Post Conviction Law Project asking the community to support Margaret Moore. Please send your letters of support for this incarcerated survivor of domestic violence!
My name is Erin McCann and I work for USC Law School’s Post Conviction Justice Project. I am writing to you today on behalf of Margaret Moore, a battered and abused woman who has spent nearly thirty years in prison for killing her abusive husband.
Margaret Moore is 50 year-old, non-violent survivor of domestic violence. As a child and adolescent, her father subjected her to countless instances of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Years later, after marrying the victim and distancing herself from her father, Margaret once again suffered severe abuse, this time at the hands of her husband. A May 2002 California Board of Prison Terms? Investigation concluded that Margaret?s ?horrific upbringing undoubtedly contributed? to her crime, and ?years of incestuous physical and emotional abuse?ended her ability to, otherwise, logically seek an escape from her miserable existence in her marriage to the victim.?
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Today, Margaret Moore is a fully rehabilitated woman and a model for other prisoners to emulate. She has never been disciplined for violence, either prior to or since her incarceration. While in prison, she has participated and held leadership positions in over twenty self-help groups. She has undergone more than ten years of therapy to address the abuse she suffered. Moreover, Margaret has also perfected vocational skills such as lead cook, lead housekeeper, seamstress, carpentry, and janitorial services during her incarceration, generating multiple favorable reviews, support for release letters, and at least two job firm offers upon release.
On July 28, 2009 the Los Angeles Superior Court determined that Margaret is not a present danger to society and should be released from prison. In August 2009, the California Board of Parole Hearings conducted a hearing and concurred with the Court?s determination, concluding that Margaret suitable for parole. While these decisions were momentous, Margaret?s fate now rests in the hands of Governor Schwarzenegger, who, though he has not affirmed many parole suitability determinations, has the opportunity here to show compassion for a domestic violence survivor who has turned her life around.
Governor Schwarzenegger receives Margaret?s case for consideration on December 10, 2009 and has until January 9, 2010 to determine whether Margaret will be released on parole after spending nearly her entire adult life behind bars. In order to ensure that Gov. Schwarzenegger reads Margaret?s story and gives sufficient credence to her court ordered release and substantiated claims of abuse, I, with the support of USC Law School, have launched a public awareness campaign. I believe that if we generate enough support letters to the Governor regarding Margaret?s case, he will be compelled to give it more than a cursory glance and in doing so, will realize that it would be inhumane and unjust to deny parole to this non-violent middle-aged woman.
As part of this campaign I am reaching out to every prisoner?s rights organization in California, hoping that they will do at least one of the following:
1. Write a letter to the Governor on Margaret?s behalf. A sample letter is attached to this email; however, feel free to ask for more information if you wish to draft your own.
Please mail the letter to the following address:
Post-Conviction Justice Project
attn: Erin McCann and Heidi Rummel
University of Southern California Law School
Los Angeles, CA 900089-0071
or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
or fax to (213) 740-5746