Parole Beat

by CCWP Collective, Free Battered Women, and the Action Committee for Women in Prison
Precious Releases…
Myrtle Green, the 77-year-old woman on the cover of Legal Services for Prisoners? ?Dignity Campaign? pamphlet, was released after 21 years of incarceration. The Board of Parole Hearings finally upheld her 2005 parole grant after reviewing it in May. CCWP was glad to have visited with Myrtle at CIW over the past couple of years. Myrtle?s daughter, Louise (Lulu) Williams, who has been central to the fight for her mother?s freedom said on hearing about the Board?s decision: ?To the family members, never give up! Always stay connected to your incarcerated family member; they DO need your support… To those many people who helped me almost day-to-day make my mom?s release possible, Thank You! You will always have my utmost respect and gratitude…?
Sincerely, Louise (Lulu) Williams, Jackson MS.
Minda Wilcox was released after serving nearly 22 years of a 15-to-life sentence. The Board found Minda suitable for parole for the fifth time and on May 1st the Governor decided to uphold the Board?s decision.
Connie Keel was released Wednesday, April 1st, after serving nearly 30 years at the California Institution for Women on a 25-to-life sentence for a murder her abusive husband committed. Freddie Sue Aguirre was finally released after her 10th parole suitability hearing. In addition to these wonderful releases, the Board recently found about ten other women we know of suitable for release. This unusually large number of suitability findings is most welcome especially in light of the negative impact that Proposition 9 will have on the prospects for freedom for life-term prisoners. Although we are not sure what this means for the future, these suitability findings are an affirmation of the long-term, hard work that many organizations have been doing to support parole for Lifers and we hope for more releases in the months to come!
Debbie Peagler was found suitable for parole on July 10th, but she is not out yet. The Parole Board?s Decision Review Committee has to affirm Debbie?s finding of suitability. They have up to 120 days to review the finding. After that, her finding goes to Governor Schwarzenegger who has 30 days to confirm or deny her release.
Debbie is a survivor of domestic violence who has been in prison since 1983. Her supporters are pushing the Decision Review Committee to expedite review of Debbie?s case as she may not have 120 days to live, due to her diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer. They ask that people call the Decision Review Committee at (916) 445-1539 and urge them to release Debbie immediately.