She Was Punished For Fighting For Her Life


As a 16-year-old girl, Michele Benjamin and a friend were solicited for sex by a grown man in New Orleans. By the end of the night, he was dead.

After turning herself into authorities, Michele explained how the man pulled out a gun, forcing her to defend herself.

The police didn’t believe her, however, and she was ultimately sentenced to life without parole in 1996.

Michele was a homeless teen mother and, like many other vulnerable Black girls and women, ended up in prison when someone tried to take advantage of her. Now, things have changed for her almost overnight.

The 2012 Miller vs. Alabama case changed everything for many people, including Michele. A Supreme Court ruling said states can no longer unfairly sentence children to life without parole. With this move, Michele now has a chance at parole!

After serving over 20 years in prison, Michele, who’s in her 40s now, may finally have a chance at life outside of a cell. We’re hoping she will get to be free once again. ​

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