California Supreme Court Returns Sara Kruzan Case To Riverside
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The California Supreme Court has returned the case of Sara Kruzan --who killed her pimp when she was 16 years old back to Riverside Superior Court, where she was originally convicted.
Aired 7/6/12 on KPBS News.
The Riverside Court has refused a new trial for Kruzan once before.
In 1995, Sara Kruzan was sentenced to life without parole for murder. The sentence was later commuted by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to life with the possibility of parole.
In 2010, Kruzan's lawyers had asked the state's high court to grant her a new trial. But California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked, instead, that the court return the case to Riverside Superior Court. The Riverside court rejected a new trial for Kruzan two years ago.
But this time the state Supreme Court is requiring the Riverside court to hold a hearing. Kruzan's lawyers have argued that she was a victim of intimate partner violence by her pimp when she killed him. They say that evidence should have been introduced at her trial.
The attorneys say the pimp molested Kruzan soon after she met him when she was 11. They say he raped her and ordered her into prostitution when she was 13. The Riverside Court can now either order a new trial for Kruzan, hold a hearing on evidence or determine the woman, now 34, should be released from prison for time served. Kruzan spent part of her childhood in San Diego.