A brief recap of Sara’s story is difficult, but this writer will try. Sara Kruzan was a smart kid, she earned good grades despite an abusive, drug addicted mother and an incarcerated father. At age 11, Sara met George Gilbert Howard, aka, G.G., who was 20 years her senior. G.G. began to indoctrinate Sara from the moment that they’d met. He took Sara and her friend’s roller-skating and to the mall. It wasn’t long after that G.G. took Sara to a far darker place. He raped her and continued to groom her for a life of commercial sexual exploitation, in laymen’s terms, child prostitution.
At the age of 13, Sara began to be commercially sexually exploited, in 1994 at age 16 after George Gilbert Howard attempted to rape her yet again, Sara shot and killed him. For this act of self-defense and in spite of the California Youth Authority’s recommendation that Sara was amenable to treatment within the juvenile justice system, Sara Jessimy Kruzan was tried as an adult and sentenced to LWOP.
Since that time, we have learned quite a bit about the physiological aspects of a younger person’s brain, as well as, the effects of long-term physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Sara has made extremely good use of her time during her incarceration. She has helped other inmates, has been commended for being a model prisoner, and recently earned her bachelor’s degree.
In December 2010, former Governor Schwarzenegger commuted Sara’s sentence to 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole. As her sentence currently stands, Sara could possibly be released by the time she’s 45. Sara, now 34 years old, has spent more than half of her life in a brick and mortar prison. Her commuted sentence could be considered a gift, but perhaps what we, as a society, need to do is push for full clemency.
To learn more about the Free Sara Kruzan clemency campaign, please visit www.freesarakruzan.org or Faces For Sara Kruzan at www.sarakruzan.com and tune into On The Grid radio on tomorrow, Saturday, October 8 at 10:00AM ET, with special guest Kim Deanne of Free Sara Kruzan who will share Sara’s story and answer questions about this amazing young woman’s life.