Survivors of Domestic Violence Deserve Clemency, Not Prison Cells


Victoria Law | The Nation | December 22, 2015

I recently received a letter from Valerie Seeley, who is imprisoned at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York State’s maximum-security prison for women. She had been told that Governor Andrew Cuomo was going to start granting clemencies and asked if I would write to him on her behalf.

“I didn’t realize it was a knife,” she said. Nor did she realize at first that she had stabbed him. When she realized what she had done, she called 911 and tried to stop the bleeding. But her boyfriend died at the hospital. She is now 12 years into a prison sentence of 19 years to life. This is her second time applying for clemency.

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