Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Attorney General Kamala Harris has asked that the Sara Kruzan case be returned to Riverside County Superior Court.
Lawyers for Sara Kruzan - who is in prison for killing her pimp when she was 16 - want California Attorney General Kamala Harris to take a position in the case.
Attorney General Harris recently withdrew two previous positions her office had taken in the Kruzan case.
The office retracted an earlier stance that Kruzan's request for release or a new trial lacks merit. Harris also took back her assertion that Kruzan's relationship with her pimp was at best professional and financial, and at worst criminal.
But the attorney general has not offered a replacement position in the matter, despite orders from the California Supreme Court.
Instead, Harris wants the Kruzan case returned to Riverside County Superior Court for further development of the case's facts. Kruzan was convicted of premeditated murder in 1995 by a jury in Riverside County Superior Court. Kruzan, who was 16 at the time, was sentenced as an adult to life without the possibility of parole even though the California Youth Authority thought she could be rehabilitated and should be released at age 25. A Riverside court also denied Kruzan's petition for a new trial in 2010.
Kruzan's lawyers are against returning the case to Riverside County. They have told the state Supreme Court that the attorney general's refusal to take two key positions in the case is skirting the process.
"The Attorney General seeks to transfer venue of this matter to a court that summarily denied Sara's petition once, and does so without ever having to take a position in this Court," her lawyers wrote. "The Attorney General should not be allowed to circumvent the clear jurisdiction of this Court by having the action returned to Riverside County."
Kruzan, who spent part of her childhood in San Diego, is 34 and has been in prison for the last 17 years. She had earned a college degree in prison and was named as Woman of the Year in 2009 by correctional officers.