Kelly Ann Savage is an incarcerated survivor of severe domestic and sexual violence by her former husband. In 1995, Kelly tried to escape with her children after receiving safety plan directives from a domestic violence crisis line. When Kelly’s abusive husband, Mark, learned that she was trying to escape, he tragically killed her 3-year old son Justin. Despite all her efforts to survive and escape with her children, the prosecution blamed Kelly for not escaping sooner. The prosecution completely ignored the documented dangers associated with attempting to leave an abusive partner. Research shows that women who attempt to leave their abusive husbands are at a 70-75% higher risk of being killed by their batterers than those who stay. The jury in Kelly’s trial was prevented from hearing testimony from an expert in domestic violence who could explain that batterers escalate their violence when victims attempt to escape. Blocking crucial expert testimony prevented Kelly’s right to a fair trial. Her conviction rested on the prosecution exploiting myths and misconceptions of survivors of abuse. Kelly was convicted of first-degree murder for “aiding and abetting” her abusive husband, and sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole. Since her conviction, Kelly has received support from domestic violence victim advocates across California who strongly support her release.JOIN US in asking Governor Jerry Brown to commute Kelly’s sentence from Life Without Parole to a parole-eligible sentence!
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