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AG’s Argument Challenged By Woman Who Killed Her Pimp

Sara Kruzan killed her pimp when she was 16 and has spent more than half her life in prison. And California Attorney General Kamala Harris wants to keep her there.

Aired 3/30/12 on KPBS News.

Sara Kruzan was convicted as a teenager of killing her pimp. California's attorney general is fighting her request for a new trial.

Earlier this year, prosecutors agreed to reduce Sara Kruzan’s first-degree mu...
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Above: Earlier this year, prosecutors agreed to reduce Sara Kruzan’s first-degree murder charge to second-degree, which made her eligible for parole.

After reviewing Kruzan's petition for a new trial on grounds of inadequate defense, the state Supreme Court asked Harris's office to explain whether the woman was a victim of domestic violence.

The attorney general responded that Kruzan's relationship with the pimp, G.G. Howard, was at best a matter of commerce; at worst she was the child victim of his sexual assault. Either way, the AG says, Kruzan is not entitled to a domestic-abuse defense.

But Kruzan's attorneys today called that reasoning tortuous.

In a written response, Kruzan's attorneys noted she was first abused by Howard shortly after meeting him when she was 11. Two years later, they note, Howard raped her and forced her into prostitution. After three years turning tricks for Howard, the girl reached her limit and killed him in 1995, her attorneys relate in their response.

Kruzan, her attorneys note, thought of Howard as her man and he referred to his prostitutes as his wives. That makes it a case of domestic abuse and means Kruzan should have been able to put on expert testimony to that effect -- testimony that jurors never heard. It's a matter of law and moral decency, they write.

It's not certain when the state Supreme Court might rule on Kruzan's request for a new trial.

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Avatar for user 'Yebo3453'

Yebo3453 | March 31, 2012 at 10:36 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Please keep Sara in your thoughts

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | April 3, 2012 at 9:32 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Seems like we made a mistake in imprisoning this woman. She was a victim who fought back. Let's do the right thing and release her so she can live the life her pimp stole from her.

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Avatar for user 'MarkSevier'

MarkSevier | April 26, 2012 at 11:36 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

David, you're right. She killed a PIMP! She should have had a reward.

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Avatar for user 'melody'

melody | April 26, 2012 at 12:47 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

This is pure and simple a case of human trafficking. Why punish the victim. She did the only thing she could do to survive. Why is it always the girl who is the one arrested. We need laws that say it is a crime to sell sex and to buy sex. Punish the perpetrator of this horrible thing that they do to children of all ages. They prey on them, many are runaways, many have little or no self esteem and believe they are loved and will do what they have to do to make their protector continue to love them, even when he beats them, sells them for sex. Then they cannot get away. They are a prisoner in a terrible bad world and the pimp only gets rich and she ends up in jail or worse; dead. The pimp got what he truly deserved. My heart goes out to her.

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