Legal Information

The following statistics and facts about self-defense cases of women who kill abusive men are relevant to Fran’s case because she was not able to properly present her self-defense argument in trial and subsequent direct appeal so she is functionally serving life without parole (LWOP), which has since been ruled unconstitutional by Nebraska.  According to the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, since 1978, 104 women in 23 states have received clemency.  Fran Thompson deserves to be one of the next women to be freed by post-conviction relief or clemency.  Please support us in our efforts to free her.  22 years for self-defense is far too long!

Maddie Barnes, part of RUST 08, created this print for a project with FedUp

Maddie Barnes, part of RUST 08, created this print for a project with FedUp

As reported by the Michigan Women’s Justice and Clemency Project:

• Women charged with the death of a mate have the least extensive record of any people convicted.

• The average prison sentence for men who kill their intimate partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced, on average, to 15 years.

Martha Mahoney coined the term “separation assault” to focus attention on the empirical evidence of the harm that comes to women who try to leave abusive relationships. Recognition of the prevalence of separation assault supports the fact that a woman acting in self-defense is acting according to a rational perception of danger (rather than insanity).