Free Delores Kapuscinski

Although this petition is closed, you can still support clemency for Delores Kapuscinski.  Even if you have already signed this petition, we ask that all who support clemency for Delores, particularly Michigan residents, send letters of support as soon as possible to:
Michigan Parole Board
P.O. Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909
AND
Governor Jennifer Granholm
State Capitol
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

In January 1988, Delores Kapuscinski was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for killing her abusive husband.  Delores had suffered years of emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband and learned that her husband was also sexually abusing their two children.  She planned to take her own life, but in fear for her children, turned the gun on her abuser.  Delores has now served 21 years in prison.  Her record is exemplary.  She has earned a college degree while incarcerated and serves as a paralegal, assisting other inmates with their appeals and habeas corpus petitions.   She has taken advantage of every opportunity educational opportunity offered by the prison and has also done volunteer work.  Delores is not a threat at this point and has served more than enough time in prison for an act that was brought on by severe emotional trauma due to the abuse she suffered.  We ask that Governor Granholm commute Delores Kapuscinski's sentence and allow her to go free.

We the undersigned ask that you commute Delores Kapuscinski's sentence and allow her to go free.

Delores Kapuscinski suffered 17 years of severe emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband before she took his life in 1987.  She also observed her husband fondling her children and became afraid for their safety.   One night after a particularly heinous incident of abuse, Delores retrieved a gun, intending to commit suicide because she felt it was the only way out of the hell she was enduring.  However, at the last moment, she realized that if she left her children alone with her husband, they would likely suffer abuse at his hand as well.  She turned the gun on her husband, killing him to defend herself and her family.

Battered woman syndrome was not available to support self-defense at the time of Delores' trial.  It was raised as a part of a temporary insanity defense; however, at the time of trial, battered woman syndrome was relatively new and lacked of public recognition.   Additionally, there was a lack of public understanding of the prevalence of domestic violence and its effects, resulting in a lack of support and understanding of abused women.

Despite the horrible abuse she had suffered, Delores was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.  She has now served 21 years.  Delores has made the most of her time in prison, earning a bachelor's degree, taking post-graduate courses, and serving as a paralegal.  She has an exemplary record and has been involved in volunteer efforts while incarcerated. 

We the undersigned believe that Delores Kapuscinski poses no threat to the community and has already served many years.  We ask that you commute her sentence and give her the opportunity to start a new life on the outside with the support of her family and friends.

Thank you for considering our request.
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