The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom has pardoned Sara Kruzan who was convicted of murder and jailed for life after killing the man who abused her and had been trafficking her to be raped by other men since she was just 13.
Sara Kruzan was just 16 years old when she got hold of a gun and shot the man that was abusing her. In 1995 she was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, in 2010, the Governor at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted her sentence to 25 years to life. Three years after that she was re-sentenced, changing her sentence to 13 years to life.
Ms Kruzan spent 18 years of her life behind bars before being released. According to a press release from his office, Gavin Newsom granted the pardon on Friday, along with 16 others.
The governor's clemency certificate said: "She has provided evidence that she is living an upright life and has demonstrated her fitness for restoration of civic rights and responsibilities.
"Ms Kruzan committed a crime that took the life of the victim. Since then, Ms Kruzan has transformed her life and dedicated herself to community service. "This act of clemency for Ms Kruzan does not minimize or forgive her conduct or the harm it caused. It does recognize the work she has done since to transform herself." Sara Kruzan was introduced to the man whom she would later kill, George Gilbert Howard, when she was just 11-years-old, by the time she was thirteen he was trafficking her to be raped by other men.
When she was 16, Ms Kruzan was threatened by the uncle of her boyfriend and involved in a plot to rob Howard. She entered Howard's motel room with the intention of robbing him but ended up shooting him in the chaos that unfolded. Ms Kruzan said that during the altercation she was in fear for her life. Man Shot Dead By Neighbour After Shooting His Own Mother With An AK-47